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Thread: We're All In This Together (17) - Don't Trade Away Shikantaza

  1. #1

    We're All In This Together (17) - Don't Trade Away Shikantaza

    Please, especially in these hard and scary times, let us not trade away the power of Goalless Shikantaza Zazen. Especially in these times when there are pervasive fears of unemployment, sickness, nearby death and despair in the hearts of so many, we must teach people to sit at the calm center, in radical equanimity and acceptance. They must learn to drop contrasts and preferences from mind, such as their thirsts for the joy of economic success vs. the pain of failure, beloved health vs. dreaded illness, precious life vs, despised death. How sad if we turn Zazen into just another technique to breathe and relax a bit, letting a little stress and tension go. That does not get to the root of the problem, human suffering, the Dukkha which is Buddhism's core concern. Mind you, sitting upright, following the breath, letting the thoughts go and the body relax ... all that is not wrong, but if left as nothing more, lacks the true fire of Zazen sitting as all things JUST AS THEY ARE.

    We do a disservice if we teach primarily but that, forgetting to include the message that to sit is sacred, to sit is the "nothing lacking" center of life which we may call "Buddha," letting unemploy be unemploy, sickness to dance as sickness, life and death embraced as the shining jewels of life and death. Death is not run from, nor is life something clung to. Even despair and fear are witnessed as nothing more than passing weather of the mind. One must sit, running from none of it, running towards none of it. Sun is just sun, rain is thoroughly rain, calm is a momentary state of calm, fear is perfectly fear ... and so for all of it. One must sit with a conviction deep in the bones that there is not one more thing to add or take away from life just as we encounter it now. Let life do its worst! One sits, dropping sun and rain, calm and fear, thus discovering the ever present source of all.

    Some say that people new to Zen cannot handle this message, that it is too hard, so it must be presented first as some simple stress reduction and calming technique. l must strongly disagree. The wisdom and ways of Just Sitting, sitting in which the goal and fruition of sitting is sitting itself, can be made clear to folks, and is the medicine that people need now for the dis-ease ... not of body ... but of mind and heart. ln this world in which we run and chase, measure win and lose, hunger to get more and more, so many people this week are feeling lost when the running stops and, suddenly, they are forced to rest at home. They are feeling like economic victims, they are worried for their future, they are worried for their very lives. For that reason, the Shikantaza message of "no place to go, nothing more to attain, all is complete as it is" will bring them peace and wisdom. They can be taught how to drop from mind the contrasts, judgments and measuring of "win vs. lose" and even "sickness vs. health," "birth and death, you vs. me." They will get it when it is explained that the opposites and measures clutter our minds and we can sometimes put all that down.

    Perhaps it will lead to a world in which people learn to see past their hungers and fears. They can handle the message, they will feel the wisdom in Goalless sitting and radical acceptance right from the start.

    Let us teach and practice the real power and beauty of goalless Shikantaza. Please sit a bit with nothing lacking, not one other place to be, not one more thing to add or take away, all realized in the completion and wholeness of sitting.

    Gassho, J

    Last edited by Jundo; 04-10-2020 at 06:53 PM.

  2. #2
    Member Onka's Avatar
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    May 2019
    rural queensland australia.
    穏 On (Calm)
    火 Ka (Fires)
    aka Anna Kissed.
    Pronouns She/Her They/Them.
    Life's too serious to be taken seriously.
    No Gods No Masters.

  3. #3


  4. #4
    Thank you Jundo.


    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  5. #5
    Yes!! Iíve been thinking about my practice during this time of isolation and uncertainty. COVID19 is proving to be a powerful teacher in so many ways.

    This is a wonderful message. Thank you Jundo.

    Sat today and lah

  6. #6

    Kotei sat/lah today.

    義道 冴庭 / Gidou Kotei.
    Being a novice priest doesn't mean that my writing about the Dharma is more substantial than yours. Actually, it might well be the other way round.

  7. #7
    Thank you, Jundo.

    Yes, there is something far deeper in Shikantaza than offering stress relief. In these times, we can sit beyond good and bad, life and death, even as we mourn every single life lost.

    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.

  8. #8
    Thank you for your teaching, Jundoshi.

    Sat. LAH.
    Be gentle. Be compassionate. Be kind.

  9. #9
    Thank you, Jundo.


  10. #10
    Succinct and inspiring.




  11. #11
    Deep bows to this wisdom

    Sent from my HD1913 using Tapatalk

  12. #12

    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'.

  13. #13
    Let us...practice the real power and beauty of goalless Shikantaza.
    My devious mind makes the goalless goal a goal

    Thank you Jundo, work in progress...

    Gassho, C stlah

  14. #14

    Would the Buddha have taught one day at a time? Indeed one moment at a time as in my other place of contentment when one is getting sober one second at a time when one can only manage one moment one Zeno at a time? One situation at a time, thatís what one does when one has any situation at a time? Let it be, Mother Mary, let it be.
    sat this morning
    Tai Shi

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "Nothing is so beautiful as spring--/ When weeds in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush: Thrush eggs look little low heavens, and thrush/ Through the echoing timber does not rise and wring/ The ear it strikes like lightening to hear him sing;.." Hopkins

  15. #15

    sattoday lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  16. #16
    Thanks Rev. Jundo.

    every day when i sit i am brought back to this very moment. In a time when i have had days of mourning the life we all had, and times of wishing for a covid free future, even within these turbulant and painful times i have sat zazen and been returned to now, within which the past and the future can only ever exist.

    Just to sit each morning has centred and grounded me. I havent turned away from sadness and difficulty or longing and hope. indeed i have tried to expeirience these feelings fully, and to be open about my feelings with those who i am lucky to share my life with. Still, to sit and breathe, and watch and open has made the dark days a little lighter and the days of longing a little less all encompassing, and i am truly thankful for that.

    Much metta, Karl.

  17. #17
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    May we all grow together in our knowledge of the Dharma

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