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Thread: Pitfalls of Shikantaza practice

  1. #1

    Pitfalls of Shikantaza practice

    Hello to all my sangha friends, I hope your practice is going well. I have a question on how do we avoid turning Shikantaza into an exercise of mere quietism and stress release? I believe this is a major criticism of silent illumination from the Rinzai sect. Whereas I am not a fan of koans as I believe it can be goal-orientated and must require regular dokusan with a teacher to test understanding. I think in the book "Circle of the Way" from Barabra O'Brien, she mentions after trying formal koan contemplation she realised that dokusan is the real point of the whole exercise. Maybe it's a question we can ask her directly tomorrow.

    I have been practising for almost two years, and I have become very comfortable with sitting Shikantaza. Perhaps, this is what causing me some anxiety that my practice is turning into mere quietism. I actually enjoy the peace and silence of sitting, although I do understand from Jundo's teachings that is not the goal of practice. Perhaps it's a beneficial side effect of sitting in silence. However, how do we avoid turning our practice into mere quietism and stress release? I would be grateful for your wisdom and guidance.

    Gassho
    Van
    Sat _/\_



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    Last edited by vanbui; 06-20-2020 at 10:19 AM.

  2. #2
    For me personally, I make sure to add rituals to every session. I walk slowly to my sitting area in shasho, I always bow to the statue of Buddha, then to my cushion, then to the room - even though nobody is there physically. I don't always recite the Heart Sutra, but most days I do. I always recite the robe verse, the verse of Atonement and the 4 vows. I think these actions allow me to keep zazen zazen, and not just an exercise in quietude. By coming to it wholeheartedly, you remind yourself of why you're there.

    Gassho,
    Juki

    Sat today and lah
    "First you have to give up." Tyler Durden

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Juki View Post
    For me personally, I make sure to add rituals to every session. I walk slowly to my sitting area in shasho, I always bow to the statue of Buddha, then to my cushion, then to the room - even though nobody is there physically. I don't always recite the Heart Sutra, but most days I do. I always recite the robe verse, the verse of Atonement and the 4 vows. I think these actions allow me to keep zazen zazen, and not just an exercise in quietude. By coming to it wholeheartedly, you remind yourself of why you're there.

    Gassho,
    Juki

    Sat today and lah
    I've found that a small ritual helps me as well, I do the incense offering and generally do the Heart Sutra, dedication, and end with the 4 vows and All Buddhas. Altars and statues and all that aren't necessary for the practice, but a little ritual keeps me in the mindset that I'm on a path with all other beings, and having a nice little separate space away from the world definitely helps with stress relief as well. Just one of the many shikantaza benefits!

    Gassho,

    Joshua
    SatToday

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  4. #4
    I agree with what Juki and Joshua say about rituals helping. For me I think it is about the intention to sit Shikantaza rather than just sit quietly. For my daily Zazen I don’t include much in the way of reciting verses or incense or an altar but my ritual definitely involves my form while sitting. I am continually bringing myself back to my form and thus reminding myself of my intentions to sit. For me that helps formalize my daily Zazen.

    I am not sure that’s clear but I hope it is.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  5. #5
    Member RobD's Avatar
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    I also agree with others that keeping some basic rituals (bowing, lighting a candle, even how I fluff my zafu, etc.) help to add structure to what is a relatively "structure-less" practice.

    Also, having been raised Catholic (I no longer practice), I still have a strong appreciation for ritual.

    Participation in the weekly Zazenkai and weeknight group practice sessions has also inspired me to add some basic chanting into my solo Zazen practice.

    Ultimately, if your current practice is very calm and quiet, then just let it be such. Accepting the "scenery" of Zazen for what it is (calm, agitated, sleepy, boring, etc.) Is something I have had a difficult time with myself, but I'm slowly coming around.

    Gassho,
    Rob

    SatToday


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  6. #6
    Member Onka's Avatar
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    It sounds like I'm missing out haha.
    Shikantaza is never an exercise in stress relief or quieting for me.
    For me Shikantaza hurts. A lot. So Shikantaza for me is purely about sitting with what is. Right there/here. Right then/now.
    The only thing I get out of it is acceptance of each moment as it presents itself but that extends far beyond the zafu. It has to.
    Gassho
    Onka
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by vanbui View Post
    Hello to all my sangha friends, I hope your practice is going well. I have a question on how do we avoid turning Shikantaza into an exercise of mere quietism and stress release? I believe this is a major criticism of silent illumination from the Rinzai sect. Whereas I am not a fan of koans as I believe it can be goal-orientated and must require regular dokusan with a teacher to test understanding. I think in the book "Circle of the Way" from Barabra O'Brien, she mentions after trying formal koan contemplation she realised that dokusan is the real point of the whole exercise. Maybe it's a question we can ask her directly tomorrow.

    I have been practising for almost two years, and I have become very comfortable with sitting Shikantaza. Perhaps, this is what causing me some anxiety that my practice is turning into mere quietism. I actually enjoy the peace and silence of sitting, although I do understand from Jundo's teachings that is not the goal of practice. Perhaps it's a beneficial side effect of sitting in silence. However, how do we avoid turning our practice into mere quietism and stress release? I would be grateful for your wisdom and guidance.

    Gassho
    Van
    Sat _/\_
    This is an excellent question. It is vital to sit with the subtle conviction deep in the bones that Zazen is the whole universe sitting, a jewel of sitting, a sacred ritual of sitting, the pinnacle and purpose of life attained simply in the simple act of sitting, all destinations reached just by sitting, all goals achieved by sitting, all Buddhas and Ancestors sitting as your body sitting, not one drop missing from sitting nor atom to add to this moment of sitting, no before or after sitting, with nothing more required than crossing the legs and sitting upright here and now, letting thoughts go and in equanimity. Yes, that's a lot to say and keep in mind, so no need to say or keep it all in mind , and enough to have an unspoken trust deep within. It is so on those days when our sitting is peaceful and quiet, but also on those days in which life might be storming and the world on fire.

    Why?

    Because human beings live our days feeling that the world is broken into pieces, fractured, to be measured by our wants, consisting of wins and losses and in betweens, the only jewels in life but those which are signs of financial gain, the pinnacle never reached as we wander birth to grave through endless hills and dark valleys, always somewhere else to be and more work to do, ever something to add and much to take away, caught in memories, regrets or longing for yesterday, entranced by dreams or fears for tomorrow, convinced that we are rarely good enough, that life consists of those things and times we want and those we do not, the peace we want hidden in a world smashed into sharp pieces, with the equanimity, wisdom and compassion of a Buddha rarely sensed. We are driven by excess desires, anger, jealousy and other "me vs. you, me/not me" thinking in the mental divisions of ignorance.

    The Buddha, after years of searching, saw the simplicity of the morning star shining just to shine, and realized the natural wholeness and completion of it all. There are no separate pieces, all flows into all else flowing, every instant is all instants, and all the instants are fully held inside each one instant.

    In fact, it is not just sitting Zazen, for all things, people, places and seconds, from sunrise to sunrise, is and are the whole universe, a jewel with scars and all, a sacred doing just for its doing, a pinnacle unto itself, its own destination reached, its own goal achieved of being what it is itself, not one drop to add or take away from just what this is, no before or after its flash of existence, nothing more needed. Yes, that includes the things we love and the things we don't, the things we want and those we run from, the good times and bad, the beautiful and ugly to our eyes, the places of life and the places of death, war and peace ... if we can come to know something so whole and unbroken that it shines right through all small human judgments of love and loss, want and rejection, good and bad, even birth and death, sickness and health, violent human acts of war and temporary lulls of peace. It is a Light and Beauty which shines through all worldly light and dark, beauty vs. ugliness, a sacred that is both golden temples and the most ordinary rusty tin can. We sit for a moment simply to realize that it is not just about the moment of sitting, but about EVERYTHING and ALL MOMENTS.

    Then, getting up from the cushion, we might return to a life and world where, this time, there are still places to go yet also no place but here, things to do but nothing more in need of doing, wins and losses while not one drop lacking or possible to lose, suffering sentient beings yet no suffering nor separate beings, the ticking clock of past and future timeless, wars to end in a cosmos beyond conflict, diseases to cure though no sickness, death to mourn and babies to bounce yet so much more than birth and death. Like that. There is so much work which we have yet to do to fix this often unjust world of poverty, hungry children, loneliness and burning fires ... and yet it still shines right through all this even as we set to work. Likewise in our own lives where we must continue to strive to improve, be better people, avoid the choices of excess desire, anger, violence and division ... yet there is nothing ever lacking, even our flaws just the priceless jewel. Striving yet not striving as one, at once. This is Master Dogen's vision of Practice-Enlightenment in each act, word and thought of each moment.

    So, no, Shikantaza Zazen is not quietism.

    Gassho, J

    SatTodayLAH
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-21-2020 at 01:09 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  8. #8
    PS - And what about Koan work and Dokusan? Can it truly help one realize more? What more is there to realize than the completion and wholeness that is this?

    I am sure that it can be well done by some. Yet, I have seen Koan shenanigans more times become a silly dance of mannerism and psycho-babble, people talking in mysterious ways that they think is Zen talk, making strange motions with teachers who fake it as they go along, acting in stylized ways as they assume Zen adepts must act, pulling wisdom out of their nose, leaving people more confused and more deluded. Frankly, the Koans are teachings with real meaning, not some mysterious target to pull apart and turn into a bone to chew on.

    We will be looking at some Koans for the next few weeks in our study of the Book of Serenity. I will post a link here, and you can see how Soto folks usual approach the Koans.
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-20-2020 at 11:16 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  9. #9
    I had never come across the word quietism before, it's an interesting concept. Here's one of the dictionary definitions that I found ..

    Noun : quietism
    1.
    (in the Christian faith) devotional contemplation and abandonment of the will as a form of religious mysticism.
    2.
    calm acceptance of things as they are without attempts to resist or change them.
    "political quietism"

    There is also a whole slew of definitions within the Catholic church philosophy.
    I'd be interested to know what the posters here understand by the term as I also saw it described as 'calm OR passivity', ( Mirriam Webster) , which I found odd as I personally believe those two words don't mean the same thing.

    Thank you
    Gassho
    Meitou sattoday lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  10. #10
    We took a Koan today, and you can see how generally Soto folks take Koans as real teaching stories. There is a logic too them, although "Zen logic," which is not always the same as our ordinary logic (for example, in today's Koan, the "flawless" answer is one that leaps through small human measures of "flawed vs. flawless.") ...

    BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 86
    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...NIMITY-Case-86

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  11. #11
    Thank you everyone for their word of wisdom.
    Juki and Joshua - I will endeavour to add ritual to my daily zazen. At the moment I'm doing a bit of metta after my zazen, but perhaps reciting the heart sutra and the verse of atonement will help with my practice.

    Tairin - My intention is always to sit Shikantaza, and when I get lost in thoughts, I always return to the open spacious awareness as instructed by Jundo, and thus my intention to sit zazen. I think there is always an inherent risk when practising Shikantaza that we turn this into an exercise of quietude. The longer I sit, the more apparent this risk appears to me. I think Jundo's explanation of deep trust in the completeness of zazen is absolutely essential to avoid turning Shikantaza into an exercise of mere quietism. However, cultivating this deep trust is another matter.

    Thank you Jundo for your insightful answer to my question. Although, to be honest, it will take me a couple of readings before it slowly seeps through my thick skull. Naturally, how do you cultivate deep trust? I believe you have mentioned this in one of your previous teachings, and I did try to sit as you have taught, but my discriminating mind and thoughts always make me doubt or forget the completeness of zazen. Perhaps I need to sit longer.

    I find studying Koans very hard but productive. There is so much wisdom in the Koans. I will join you in studying the Book of Equanimity.

    Gassho,
    Van
    satlah _/\_


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    Last edited by vanbui; 06-21-2020 at 09:31 AM.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Meitou View Post
    I had never come across the word quietism before, it's an interesting concept. Here's one of the dictionary definitions that I found ..

    Noun : quietism
    1.
    (in the Christian faith) devotional contemplation and abandonment of the will as a form of religious mysticism.
    2.
    calm acceptance of things as they are without attempts to resist or change them.
    "political quietism"

    There is also a whole slew of definitions within the Catholic church philosophy.
    I'd be interested to know what the posters here understand by the term as I also saw it described as 'calm OR passivity', ( Mirriam Webster) , which I found odd as I personally believe those two words don't mean the same thing.

    Thank you
    Gassho
    Meitou sattoday lah
    Hi Meitou - I think the term 'quietism' tends to be used in a specifically derogatory way re meditation - not so much in regards to actual sitting but the follow on effect of kind
    of zoning out - 'nothing in need of fixing' attitude in a skewed way. I can see the danger of it and possibly relates to connecting problem of spiritual by-passing?

    Hi Van - in regard to the above you don't mention that your peaceful sits are having the above effect in the external world. If that's not the case I think it's fine if your meditation is
    peaceful just now. A lot depends on what life is throwing at us - so we just sit with what is and that can vary at lot!

    I do think an at home liturgy can be helpful at times - I normally begin with some chants I find grounding and as an a reminder that we sit to 'save all sentient beings' and are not
    just practicing relaxation. But sometimes I need to challenge myself to simply sit because observing how racing my mind can be is important.

    Gassho

    Jinyo

    sat today

  13. #13
    Hi Jinyo,

    Hi Van - in regard to the above you don't mention that your peaceful sits are having the above effect in the external world. If that's not the case I think it's fine if your meditation is

    peaceful just now. A lot depends on what life is throwing at us - so we just sit with what is and that can vary a lot!
    That's a very interesting perspective. I honestly feel there has been no major difference, although I often feel like life is too short to obsess about trivial things. My wife has mentioned I'm calmer than before, so I suppose zazen has had an effect on my temperament. We certainly bicker less often than before :-)).

    Gassho
    Van
    Satlah


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  14. #14
    I had never come across the word quietism before, it's an interesting concept. Here's one of the dictionary definitions that I found ..

    Noun : quietism
    1.
    (in the Christian faith) devotional contemplation and abandonment of the will as a form of religious mysticism.
    2.
    calm acceptance of things as they are without attempts to resist or change them.
    "political quietism"

    There is also a whole slew of definitions within the Catholic church philosophy.
    I'd be interested to know what the posters here understand by the term as I also saw it described as 'calm OR passivity', ( Mirriam Webster) , which I found odd as I personally believe those two words don't mean the same thing.
    Meitou,

    The notion of quietism stems from the Chinese Linji (Rinzai) monk Dahui Zonggao (1089–1163) who cast this criticism at the Caodong (Sōtō) method of Silent Illumination developed by Hongzhi:

    The term silent illumination was first used in Chinese Chan (Korean, Sŏn; Japanese, Zen) circles in the first half of the twelfth century, probably introduced by the great Chan master of the Caodong tradition, Hongzhi Zhengjue (1091–1157). However, the term was made infamous by Hongzhi's contemporary Dahui Zonggao (1089–1163) of the Linji Chan tradition, who vehemently attacked what he called the "heretical silent illumination Chan" of his day as a quietistic form of meditation, lacking in wisdom and enlightenment.

    https://www.encyclopedia.com/religio...umination-chan
    It has lingered ever since but, to my mind, it is based on a total misunderstanding of the Sōtō way and is suggesting that people sitting shikantaza are merely sitting quietly rather than any kind of practice.

    Morgen Schlütter goes into detail about it in his book How Zen Became Zen.


    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    ------------------------------------
    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.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by vanbui View Post
    Tairin - My intention is always to sit Shikantaza, and when I get lost in thoughts, I always return to the open spacious awareness as instructed by Jundo, and thus my intention to sit zazen. I think there is always an inherent risk when practising Shikantaza that we turn this into an exercise of quietude. The longer I sit, the more apparent this risk appears to me. I think Jundo's explanation of deep trust in the completeness of zazen is absolutely essential to avoid turning Shikantaza into an exercise of mere quietism. However, cultivating this deep trust is another matter.


    I think I don’t really understand the distinction you are making. The definitions that Meitou posted of quietism don’t feel like a trap I would be at risk of falling into while sitting Shikantaza. Perhaps I am fortunate (or deluded).

    I pulled this from the link Kokuu posted with my bold added. Is this the quietism we are talking about?

    However, in this poem and elsewhere, Hongzhi stresses that although there is no need to strive for an enlightenment experience, the meditator must not fall into a murky and unthinking state of mind; transcendent wisdom will naturally manifest itself only in an alert mind.


    I would very much recommend joining us in the study of the koans from the Book of Equinimity. I’ve don’t some small amount of Koan study in more a Rinzai tradition but this study here in not like that.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah
    Last edited by Tairin; 06-21-2020 at 02:12 PM.
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Tairin View Post


    I think I don’t really understand the distinction you are making. The definitions that Meitou posted of quietism don’t feel like a trap I would be at risk of falling into while sitting Shikantaza. Perhaps I am fortunate (or deluded).
    I think this passage from the book "The Circle of the Way" is a good summary of the pitfalls of both Koan introspection and Shikantaza.

    The rivalry between mozhao chan and kanhua chan persists to this day. Many of us who have practiced both can tell you that the methodologies each have strengths and weaknesses. Choosing which is better is an individual matter. Practitioners of both do experience the actualization of enlightenment, and likewise, practitioners of both do run into difficulties. The goal-oriented practice of solving koans can cause some to lose sight of Mazu’s ordinary-mind teachings (never mind that “ordinary mind” is itself a koan). Silent illumination, when not understood, can become nothing but a stress-reduction technique. Put another way, a one-sided devotion to koan contemplation “can become arid, intellectual, and disconnected from reality,” writes James Ford. “And a one-sided attachment to a just-sitting practice can slip into torpidity, into a mere quietism.”31
    This passage from Taigen Dan Leighton's book is also very revealing.

    Dahui’s criticism of silent illumination was partly valid, based on the legitimate danger of practitioners misunderstanding this approach as quietistic or passive. Dahui’s critique was echoed centuries later by Japanese Rinzai critics of just sitting, such as Hakuin in the eighteenth century. Just sitting can indeed sometimes degenerate into dull attachment to inner bliss states, with no responsiveness to the suffering of the surrounding world.
    Gassho
    Van


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  17. #17
    Thank you Van. That helps.

    I think this is why having an experienced teacher/guide helps this practice and hopefully avoiding the pitfalls.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by vanbui View Post
    ... Naturally, how do you cultivate deep trust? I believe you have mentioned this in one of your previous teachings, and I did try to sit as you have taught, but my discriminating mind and thoughts always make me doubt or forget the completeness of zazen. Perhaps I need to sit longer.
    I usually say a couple of things about this. First, Zazen ... and all the world really ... is just what it is, but the judgement about the situation is right between your ears. It is you who judges some situation good or bad, complete or incomplete, but the situation is just the situation. Same for Zazen. If you can come to feel it complete, whole and with the other characteristics I describe, it is. If you feel it incomplete and lacking, it is. Otherwise, Zazen is just Zazen. Who judges it incomplete or that the world is not whole but you? I call it thus a "non-self fulfilling prophesy."

    Zazen has some similarity to Tibetan esoteric visualization practices in which the meditator envisions themself as a Buddha, so comes to embody the characteristics of that Buddha. Likewise, Zazen. A friend of mine who is a Broadway actor told me that he assumes the role of Hamlet until he becomes Hamlet. So, I recommend what I call "non-method" acting ... act the role of someone sitting with total trust in the completeness and wholeness of sitting, until the role takes one over. If you instead play somebody who feels that Zazen is lacking, then it is lacking.

    Shikantaza as NON-Method NON-Acting
    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...hod-NON-Acting

    We sit vibrantly, with sincerity and dedication ... yet there is nothing to attain. We sit, letting thoughts go, but neither do we run away from thoughts. We come to see the Light of clarity and wholeness which shines through both thoughts and no thoughts. We sit in radical equanimity so equanimious that we even feel equanimity about those times of sitting when we do not feel equanimious. We trust. We sit.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-21-2020 at 02:40 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    I usually say a couple of things about this. First, Zazen ... and all the world really ... is just what it is, but the judgement about the situation is right between your ears. It is you who judges some situation good or bad, complete or incomplete, but the situation is just the situation. Same for Zazen. If you can come to feel it complete, whole and with the other characteristics I describe, it is. If you feel it incomplete and lacking, it is. Otherwise, Zazen is just Zazen. Who judges it incomplete or that the world is not whole but you? I call it thus a "non-self fulfilling prophesy."

    Zazen has some similarity to Tibetan esoteric visualization practices in which the meditator envisions themself as a Buddha, so comes to embody the characteristics of that Buddha. Likewise, Zazen. A friend of mine who is a Broadway actor told me that he assumes the role of Hamlet until he becomes Hamlet. So, I recommend what I call "non-method" acting ... act the role of someone sitting with total trust in the completeness and wholeness of sitting, until the role takes one over. If you instead play somebody who feels that Zazen is lacking, then it is lacking.

    Shikantaza as NON-Method NON-Acting
    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...hod-NON-Acting

    We sit vibrantly, with sincerity and dedication ... yet there is nothing to attain. We sit, letting thoughts go, but neither do we run away from thoughts. We come to see the Light of clarity and wholeness which shines through both thoughts and no thoughts. We sit in radical equanimity so equanimious that we even feel equanimity about those times of sitting when we do not feel equanimious. We trust. We sit.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    Many thanks for this teaching Jundo.

    Deep bows
    Gassho
    Van
    Satlah

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  20. #20
    Thank you for your teaching, Jundo
    Tai Shi
    sat/ lah
    Gassho


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    The object of practice is not transcendence but transformation, yet ultimately we must transcend ourselves. (Elucidation of Dogen) in HOW TO RAISE AN OX

  21. #21
    Thank you for this, Jundo.
    I have a lot to learn.

    Gassho,
    steve
    sat today

  22. #22
    Member Hokin's Avatar
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    Hello everybody.
    I want to thank you all for your practice...for your inspiring discussion...and for your deeply helpful teachings and reflexions!
    That said I now can but bow deeply to you all for being this beautiful sangha!



    Have a nice "already nice" and complete "already complete" day...everyday!
    And moreover...never forget to share THIS...beautiful Practice-Realization with all suffering beings (we are one and always together!)

    Gassho.
    Arya.
    ST&LAH.

  23. #23
    Gratitude for this thread and all the treasures within

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday


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    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  24. #24
    Thank you for the teaching Jundo.


    Jakugan.
    St
    Last edited by Jakugan; 07-15-2020 at 08:35 PM.

  25. #25
    Mental cleaning. When i began my practice i found it to quiet and calm me however it wasnt doing more then that. I suffered depression and it wasnt getting better even though i could sit to calm. I discovered that one can use the calm state to face pain. Looking back through your history for emotional pain and trauma, and then being able to observe and process it with a clear and calm mind. This is how i was able to defeat my depression completely after 20 years of suffering with it. Our minds never let go of trauma normally, it just gets shoved into a back corner of our subconcious we are not aware of. It does affect us in stress and other ways even if we dont realize it. I have also found that a lot of what happens when we sit is subconcious cleaning. Our brains take time to process a lot of our daily experiences that it doesnt usually have the time to do. This is just my experience though. Maybe its different for others. As i said i was able to use meditation to deal with past trauma, but mostly because i was already facing it on a daily basis. Perhaps some traumas are better left behind for some people.
    Gassho
    David
    Sat/lah

  26. #26
    Hi,

    Within the concept of not 1, not 2:

    A - Western thought leans towards 2.

    B - Eastern though leans towards 1 but recognizes that we live in the world 2.

    Shikantaza can be harmful to those who have trouble with boundaries and living close to 1 to begin with or completely in 1 such as the case of psychosis.

    Shikantaza is definitely not for everyone and this point is overlooked by teachers sometimes. I have not seen this problem present with Jundo as the captain of our international ship for very long.

    Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__

  27. #27
    The society has trained us to always be doing, wanting, acquiring. Meditation provides a relief from that. But life is dynamic and we don’t know what will happen next. There could be danger. So we need to maintain some awareness and alertness. Just sitting we always come back to that

    Sat
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

    I may be wrong and not knowing is acceptable

  28. #28
    Some go on the boat and the waters may be calm or rough but the destination is arrived at on time. Some may stay out in the sea too long but eventually land. On the flip side, some get off the boat to soon to experience the beauty of the overall trip. It can be a problem for those that stay out in the sea for too long as shikantaza may get in the way of a safe return. There are cases of this. These people should not travel at all.

    Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__
    Last edited by Jishin; 07-16-2020 at 01:46 PM.

  29. #29
    Yes, I must keep this short-- Shikataza brought me to the brink of change-- change came from change of attitude, I stepped ashore of my own accord, no one, NOT one Buddha, I had killed Buddha (figurativly speaking) as I stepped ashore. Mine was subtance change. "Go figure."
    Tai Shi
    sat/ lah
    Gassho
    The object of practice is not transcendence but transformation, yet ultimately we must transcend ourselves. (Elucidation of Dogen) in HOW TO RAISE AN OX

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