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Thread: Zazen is dropping body and mind.

  1. #1

    Zazen is dropping body and mind.

    Last night I was reading Uchiyama cite Dogen in saying that zazen itself is dropping body and mind.

    Any thoughts on this?



    Sat today

  2. #2
    Hi Kevin

    Dropping body and mind (shinjin datsaraku in Japanese) is believed to be what Dōgen said to his teacher, Ju-ching (Rujing), on the night of his awakening as recorded in his personal account, Hōkyōki:

    Dogen:"I have come because body-mind is cast off."
    Ju-ching responded approvingly, "Body-mind is cast off (shinjin datsuraku); cast off body-mind (datsuraku shinjin)"

    He refers to it again in Genjokōan:

    "To study the Buddha Way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. No trace of enlightenment remains, and this no-trace continues endlessly."

    In terms of our own zazen, have you experienced this phenomenon when concepts of inside and outside, self and other drop away, and you are just left with sensations such as images, smells, body sensations and sounds?

    This is what I believe Dōgen is pointing to, the feeling of sitting zazen in which subject and object drop away and we are left with just sense experience. With notions of self gone, we are just buddha sitting buddha.

    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  3. #3
    Master seung sahn used to say Donít make anything. Our ego self makes the ideas of my body and my mind when itís really just awareness or consciousness from the perspective of a
    Unique jewel in Indras net.

    You are that unique jewel of the universe


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

    I may be wrong and not knowing is acceptable

  4. #4
    Hi Kevin,

    This is something to find out for yourself, and like "sweetness" or "thirst quenched on a hot day" ... it is more something to experience than can be put into words.

    I might add a little twist on what Kokuu said, though. I believe that Kokuu is describing one flavor of this, but there is a bit more to "bodymind dropped away." It is not merely being left with the bodily sense experiences in rather naked fashion, although that happens too.

    The "self" of body and mind is a creature of desires, fears, regrets and longing for the past, dreams and worries about the future, judgments, divisions into endless categories and appraisals regarding the people, places, things and events of the present too. It is filled with likes and dislikes, what it runs toward or clings to, what it runs from or pushes away. To "drop bodymind" is the profound equanimity in which all desires are sated, fears met with fearlessness, the past left as the past, the future let to be the future ... perhaps with all measures of time dropped from mind. Judgments are put away except for the single judgment, deep in the bones, of the perfection of sitting itself. There is no need to run from or towards, nor any place to go, but this place on the cushion ... which is all places in the universe right here. A world of division may remain, yet all people, places, things and events flow in and out of all people, places, things and events such that one might say all the "people, places, things and events" somehow vanish so that only the flowing remains (even so, we still experience a world of people, places, things and events at the same time ... so one might say that these vanish and do not vanish at the same instant). The little "self" of body and mind with its desires, complaints, feelings of lack is put out of its job. Sitting with bodymind dropped away is simply radical equanimity where there is nothing lacking. The mind lacks nothing, the body lacks nothing. The hard border ... and frictions ... between your subjective self and the outside "not self" soften or fully drop away, and all flows in and out or each and all without friction or resistance.

    So, it is a bit more than just the sometime experience of only naked sense perceptions remaining.

    What is more, in his vision of Zazen, Master Dogen's "bodymind dropped away" in Zazen may be so automatic, so equanimious and whole, that we need not even experience it for it to be so. It is something like saying that our heart is beating and our blood is flowing even when we do not feel it Just Sitting is, sua sponte, the sitting of all sitting, nothing lacking, no place in need of going or which is not already totally present right here ... even when we might not particularly feel that there is "nothing lacking" or that "all is already present right here." The mind lacks nothing (even on those days when tears may roll down our eyes), the body lacks nothing (even on those days when it has its pains and other complaints). It is like saying that the moon is always shining, seen or unseen, clear skies or cloudy, day or night.

    Gassho, J

    Last edited by Jundo; 12-03-2019 at 02:22 AM.

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