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Thread: Nothing to attain, nothing to gain.

  1. #1

    Nothing to attain, nothing to gain.

    “No matter how hard we practice, there is no reaction — we just act.” Kōshō Uchiyama

    One of the paradoxes of sitting zazen is that there is nothing to do. There is nothing to attain, nothing to gain, nothing to do but sit. If we believe Dogen’s idea of “practice-enlightenment,” then sitting itself, the mere volition to sit zazen, is itself enlightenment. So the will to do nothing, with nothing to attain and nothing to gain, is enllightenment.

    It is easy to see this as a paradox; in fact, it is almost easy to see this as a cop out. Could it be so simple that doing nothing is enlightenment? Perhaps that doing nothing, with nothing to attain and nothing to gain, really isn’t nothing. Perhaps it is an active striving towards something that we don’t truly understand, that we need to both reinforce and, at the same time let drop away. We need to let go of any goal to rediscover something within us that has been masked by our experiences and our faulty perception.

    For “nothing will come of nothing,” as King Lear said, but what we hope to attain through zazen is, indeed, nothing. There is nothing to hold on to, nothing to grasp, nothing to begin, nothing to complete. It is like the negative space around a sculpture where the rock used to be, like the forgotten memory of how we were before we began reasoning; it is the absence of everything that we have built up in our minds to judge what we see, what we feel, what we think. As long as we have the will to do nothing, we sit zazen, and that practice is, as Dogen says, enlightenment itself.



    I know nothing.

  2. #2


  3. #3


    Sat today

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  4. #4

    Sat today and lah
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  5. #5
    Well put. Thank you

    Kaido (有道) Every Way
    Washin (和信) Harmony Trust
    I am a novice priest-in-training. Anything what I say must not be considered as teaching
    and should be taken with a 'grain of salt'.

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