What Zazen ls Not ...

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  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39270

    What Zazen ls Not ...

    Zazen, Shikantaza, is --not-- about learning to relax or feel happy. Sorry, but folks who are looking for such things from Zazen are sadly mistaken. Zazen will not make life in this ordinary world always a fun vacation, a never ending high, a paradise without sometime tears. Zazen is about the Great Matter of Life and Death, Shikantaza is not a matter about how one feels or thinks in any changing instant of the day.

    But here is the Koany Katch ...

    Shikantaza Zazen is sitting that is complete as sitting, not one thing to add or seek whatever comes, and remains complete and whole Shikantaza whether our life feels relaxed or not relaxed, happy or sad or in between or otherwise at any particular moment. What is just is, and that is fine. At the same time, in sitting, one does not get caught up in passing thoughts and emotions either, and simply observes without grabbing on or being pulled in: lf stressed, just be stressed and let go and let the stress be. lf grieving at loss or otherwise sad, just be sad and grieve as if witness to the passing theatre show that your heart and mind plays. Do not be pulled into anger even if your heart may be starting to anger, do not become a prisoner of fear even if afraid for a time. .

    One might say that such radical allowance and acceptance is the ultimate Buddha Peace which sweeps in small human measures and experiences of "relaxed" or "not relaxed." lt is a Peace so Peaceful, that it leaps beyond whether or not we might momentarily be feeling peaceful or anything but peaceful in this daily life. lt is a Peace which even holds our passing fears. It is much like saying that there is a kind of Buddha Joy that is found both at times of small human happiness and sadness, a Joy so Joyful even when tears of loss roll down one's face. .lt is a Fealessness so Fearless that it is not in the least afraid to be sometimes fearlful, terrified and quaking in our boots! We know that, at the heart of our human fear, there is a face beyond all fear! At the heart of loss and heartbreak, there is this which can never be lost or broken.

    Then, even death and birth do not feel so hard and final as lines and borders, the small self drops away, all flows into all, and the Great Matter of Life and Death is clear. .Such is the ultimate Peace, Joy and Fearlessness even as we continue to live in this sometimes chaotic, sad and oh so scary world.

    That's a bit more powerful than just relaxing.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE
  • Horin
    Member
    • Dec 2017
    • 389

    #2
    I love that text Jundo! When we sit and encounter the perceptions without dealing, without judging, grasping or pushing them, just see them as they are, as arising and fading phenomenons in the present moment, we can just be with what is with the absolute acceptance, wether there's joy, bliss, sadness, thoughts, no thought, feelings, sensations and any other condition..and drop this way mind and body.
    I remember that I needed to let go the ideas and ideals what shikantaza and the whole path of zen is about, that it doesn't need to give me good feelings, certain states of mind or enlightenment. It's not a game, it's just the direct experience of reality.. No need to expect anything. maturity is to be totally honest to ourselves, as well in the practice of zen. And this means to look at the present condition, to oneself, giving up playing games.


    Gassho

    Ben (hishiryo)



    Stlah


    Enviado desde mi PLK-L01 mediante Tapatalk

    Comment

    • Onka
      Member
      • May 2019
      • 1575

      #3
      Originally posted by Jundo
      Zazen, Shikantaza, is --not-- about learning to relax or feel happy. Sorry, but folks who are looking for such things from Zazen are sadly mistaken. Zazen will not make life in this ordinary world always a fun vacation, a never ending high, a paradise without sometime tears. Zazen is about the Great Matter of Life and Death, Shikantaza is not a matter about how one feels or thinks in any changing instant of the day.

      But here is the Koany Katch ...

      Shikantaza Zazen is sitting that is complete as sitting, not one thing to add or seek whatever comes, and remains complete and whole Shikantaza whether our life feels relaxed or not relaxed, happy or sad or in between or otherwise at any particular moment. What is just is, and that is fine. At the same time, in sitting, one does not get caught up in passing thoughts and emotions either, and simply observes without grabbing on or being pulled in: lf stressed, just be stressed and let go and let the stress be. lf grieving at loss or otherwise sad, just be sad and grieve as if witness to the passing theatre show that your heart and mind plays. Do not be pulled into anger even if your heart may be starting to anger, do not become a prisoner of fear even if afraid for a time. .

      One might say that such radical allowance and acceptance is the ultimate Buddha Peace which sweeps in small human measures and experiences of "relaxed" or "not relaxed." lt is a Peace so Peaceful, that it leaps beyond whether or not we might momentarily be feeling peaceful or anything but peaceful in this daily life. lt is a Peace which even holds our passing fears. It is much like saying that there is a kind of Buddha Joy that is found both at times of small human happiness and sadness, a Joy so Joyful even when tears of loss roll down one's face. .lt is a Fealessness so Fearless that it is not in the least afraid to be sometimes fearlful, terrified and quaking in our boots! We know that, at the heart of our human fear, there is a face beyond all fear! At the heart of loss and heartbreak, there is this which can never be lost or broken.

      Then, even death and birth do not feel so hard and final as lines and borders, the small self drops away, all flows into all, and the Great Matter of Life and Death is clear. .Such is the ultimate Peace, Joy and Fearlessness even as we continue to live in this sometimes chaotic, sad and oh so scary world.

      That's a bit more powerful than just relaxing.

      Gassho, J

      STLah
      I've never felt anything other than physical discomfort at best and unbearable pain at worst while doing Shikantaza. In saying that I've learnt a lot about 'sitting' with pain as well as 'sitting' with other life challenges rather than being consumed by them or letting them dictate the quality of my life. For these reasons I start every day with Zazen and will continue to do so for the rest of my days in this skin bag.
      Thank you Roshi
      Gassho
      Onka
      stlah
      穏 On (Calm)
      火 Ka (Fires)
      They/She.

      Comment

      • Tairin
        Member
        • Feb 2016
        • 2731

        #4

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

        Comment

        • Cooperix
          Member
          • Nov 2013
          • 502

          #5
          A fine reminder to start my day.

          Deep bow Jundo

          Anne

          ~st~

          Comment

          • Jundo
            Treeleaf Founder and Priest
            • Apr 2006
            • 39270

            #6
            Originally posted by Horin
            I love that text Jundo! When we sit and encounter the perceptions without dealing, without judging, grasping or pushing them, just see them as they are, as arising and fading phenomenons in the present moment, we can just be with what is with the absolute acceptance, wether there's joy, bliss, sadness, thoughts, no thought, feelings, sensations and any other condition..and drop this way mind and body.
            I remember that I needed to let go the ideas and ideals what shikantaza and the whole path of zen is about, that it doesn't need to give me good feelings, certain states of mind or enlightenment. It's not a game, it's just the direct experience of reality.. No need to expect anything. maturity is to be totally honest to ourselves, as well in the practice of zen. And this means to look at the present condition, to oneself, giving up playing games.


            Gassho

            Ben (hishiryo)



            Stlah


            Enviado desde mi PLK-L01 mediante Tapatalk


            And yet, and yet ... Shikantaza leaps right though and beyond ... totally beyond, totally totally beyond ... and right back as once again (although never left) the very heart of joy, bliss, sadness, thoughts, no thought, feelings, sensations and any other condition

            ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

            Comment

            • Horin
              Member
              • Dec 2017
              • 389

              #7
              Originally posted by Jundo
              And yet, and yet ... Shikantaza leaps right though and beyond ... totally beyond, totally totally beyond ... and right back as once again (although never left) the very heart of joy, bliss, sadness, thoughts, no thought, feelings, sensations and any other condition

              gassho 1


              Thank you very much, Jundo!

              Gassho

              Ben (hishiryo)

              Stlah

              Enviado desde mi PLK-L01 mediante Tapatalk

              Comment

              • Nanrin
                Member
                • May 2018
                • 262

                #8
                Gassho

                Nanrin

                Sat today
                南 - Southern
                林 - Forest

                Comment

                • Gukan
                  Member
                  • Nov 2015
                  • 194

                  #9
                  Thank you Jundo

                  Gassho
                  Gukan / Libby
                  ST

                  Comment

                  • Sekishi
                    Treeleaf Priest / Engineer
                    • Apr 2013
                    • 5670

                    #10
                    "This is the way."

                    Gassho,
                    Sekishi #sat #finishedthemandalorian
                    Sekishi | 石志 | He/him | Better with a grain of salt, but best ignored entirely.

                    Comment

                    • Ippo
                      Member
                      • Apr 2019
                      • 276

                      #11
                      This is really beautiful Jundo! Such an intuitive/counter-intuitive yet effective practice.

                      I have a question stemming from pure Zen ignorance - my history is rusty and I will buy 'Circle of The Way'.

                      So, Shikantaza Zazen, is SO different and 'radical' compared to other meditation techniques. I have practiced a number over the years and most have a fixed or moving point of focus.

                      I am wondering where the origins of this style of practice came from? What was the initial impetus to 'just sit'? How did this style emerge amoung so many others which are much more similar to each other and yet so different to Shikantaza Zazen?

                      I have always wondered and I think this is a good thread to ask!

                      Thank you in advance,

                      Gassho,

                      Ippo

                      SatToday
                      一 法
                      (One)(Dharma)

                      Everyday is a good day!

                      Comment

                      • Rich
                        Member
                        • Apr 2009
                        • 2596

                        #12
                        Thanks Jundo
                        [emoji120]

                        Sat/lah


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

                        https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

                        Comment

                        • Shoki
                          Member
                          • Apr 2015
                          • 580

                          #13
                          Thank you Jundo. It can get tiresome hearing from media, advertising, and people in general that zen is some kind of relaxation technique, a state of bliss, a higher plane of consciousness (still don't know what that means), a way to achieve calm, etc. But what it is, is so hard to explain in words. So, besides Treeleaf, I usually keep this practice to myself.

                          Gassho
                          STlah
                          James

                          Comment

                          • Jundo
                            Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                            • Apr 2006
                            • 39270

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Ippo
                            This is really beautiful Jundo! Such an intuitive/counter-intuitive yet effective practice.

                            I have a question stemming from pure Zen ignorance - my history is rusty and I will buy 'Circle of The Way'.

                            So, Shikantaza Zazen, is SO different and 'radical' compared to other meditation techniques. I have practiced a number over the years and most have a fixed or moving point of focus.

                            I am wondering where the origins of this style of practice came from? What was the initial impetus to 'just sit'? How did this style emerge amoung so many others which are much more similar to each other and yet so different to Shikantaza Zazen?

                            I have always wondered and I think this is a good thread to ask!

                            Thank you in advance,

                            Gassho,

                            Ippo

                            SatToday
                            Well, this is a matter of some historical debate, and some sectarian prejudices. I happen to have just finished reading a paper that touched upon this by a respected historian of Zen Buddhism ...

                            Conceptions and Attitudes towards Contemplative Practice within the Early Traditions of Chan Buddhism
                            Mario Poceski


                            The article explores the main attitudes and approaches to meditative theory and praxis that developed within the early Chan movement, with a focus on the Tang era (618–907). The discussion covers the formative development of key models of Chan


                            There is also a wonderful book, How Zen Became Zen, although not recommended for general readers (only Zen history wonks, posted with permission of the author) ...


                            I will offer my own assessment, trying to be objective.

                            There are many ways of meditation in both India and China, some Taoist meditations that developed in China seemingly independent and prior to the introduction of Buddhism (some seemingly close in description to Just Sitting). Only much later, as an innovation which became very popular and dominant, was the "Koan Introspection Zazen" methods developed by Tahui and others. In a nutshell, practices resembling Shikantaza and radical equanimity, "non-seeking" and the like are clearly found in the early Chan (Zen's name in Chinese) tradition in China for many centuries before the development of "Koan Introspection." I am not sure if there are roots in India (although I have seen some scholars point to a few passages in the early Suttas). My feeling is that it is probably an early Chinese innovation, very early in the history of Chan, possibly with big Taoist influence.

                            Even many of the great Rinzai teachers (although Rinzai is now primarily associated with Koan Introspection) seem, in their writings handed down, to actually recommend attitudes and methods of practice that smack of Shikantaza's radical allowing, non-seeking etc. Here are a few threads where I give some examples. For example, the words of Master Rinzai from the 9th century ...

                            The Shikantaza Teachings of ... Master Rinzai!
                            Hi, Most Zen folks do not realize that the actual Master Linji Yixuan (Master Rinzai, 臨濟義玄, died 866) probably practiced a kind of non-seeking meditation seemingly closer in attitude to "Just Sitting" non-seeking, non-gaining "Shikantaza" than to the Koan Introspection Zazen


                            I will quote a little more below from some other things on this topic, something I once wrote on the Platform Sutra attributed to the 6th Ancestor of Chan, Hui-neng (again, for wonks only) .

                            Gassho, J

                            STLAH

                            ===========================

                            This is really no surprise, for as Morten Schlutter has chronicled on the history of Silent Illumination Zazen (in his masterful "How Zen Became Zen", p. 172-174):

                            The new Caodong [Soto] tradition, then, seems to have simply adopted the type of meditation already common in Chan and elevated its importance. What made the silent illumination teachings of the Caodong tradition distinctive, therefore, was not the meditation technique or even its doctrinal underpinnings but its sustained, exhuberant celebration of inherent enlightenment and its persistent stress on stillness and de-emphasis on enlightenment as a breakthrough experience. In this way, the Caodong tradition did make meditation an end in itself: as long as meditation was approached correctly, nothing else was really needed. Thus, the silent illumination practice of the new Caodong tradition really did differentiate it from the rest of Chan ... . Even though the new Caodong tradition's teaching style was seen as distinctive, it did not entail, as I have argued above, a radical departure from earlier meditation techniques ...

                            The kanhua Chan advocated by Dahui was, on the other hand, truly an innovation and represented a new style of Chan. As I argued in Chapter 5, Dahui developed what was essentially a new type of meditation out of existing gongan practices. In spite of Dahui's accusations that the Caodong masters and other Chan teachers with whom he disagreed were teaching a heterodox doctrine, it was Dahui himself who was unorthodox in his unabashed de-emphasis of inherent enlightenment and his new mediation technique strongly focused on working toward a moment of breakthrough enlightenment.
                            That is not, by the way, meant in any way as a commentary on the superiority of inferiority of any practice method (or even with regard to any other form of Buddhist meditation of other schools, or other Buddhist practice). Everything is new and an innovation sometime in the history of Buddhism (and what comes later can often be an improvement on the earlier!). It simply means that Silent Illumination may have been closer to the earlier, mainstream of Chan practices. A few pages earlier, touching upon Silent Illumination and the 'Platform Sutra', Schlutter comments (p 169):

                            Yet the Chan tradition had a difficult relationship with the concept of meditation from early on. The traditional understanding of meditation as a way to purify the mind and gain insight that could lead to liberation was directly contradicted by Chan’s own rhetoric. Thus, the earliest extant version of the Platform Sutra from the eighth century states in strong terms that meditation (ding) and wisdom (hui) are identical and that one cannot reach wisdom through the practice of meditation. In several other places, the early Platform S?tra further seems to reduce meditation to a sort of metaphor for the enlightened mind itself. This sentiment was only amplifed in the later versions of the Platform Sutra that would have been known by the Song-dynasty audience. And, of course, every person with any education would have known the story of nanyue huairang demonstrating to his disciple mazu daoyi the futility of trying to become a Buddha through meditation by mockingly pretending to polish a tile in an attempt to make it into a mirror.

                            While meditation as a path to enlightenment is repudiated in these and many other Chan sources ... even the Platform Sutra exhorts Huineng’s disciples to diligently sit in meditation after his death just as if he were still there.
                            Yes ... sitting Zazen with nothing possible to attain, and no way to "make a Buddha" ... plus a view of seated Zazen as indispensible but as also -not- limited to the sitting cushion, but found in "walking, staying, sitting and lying down" bringing wisdom all through life ... yet an exhortation by Huineng to sit Zazen nonetheless ... plus the other elements below from the words of the Platform Sutra =

                            ... just about Shikantaza!

                            The following passage will illustrate a bit more(I will primarily be relying on the older and shorter Dun Huang text translated by Yampolsky, not passages ... though often of the same flavor ... from one of the more elaborate later version which had several editors add great amounts of text and flower it up)

                            1 - The most specific instruction for "how to" seated Zazen in the text is at the end, as Huineng advises his disciples in his final words from his death bed:

                            Be the same as you would if I were here, and sit all together in meditation. If you are only peacefully calm and quiet, without motion, without stillness, without birth, without destruction, without coming, without going, without judgments of right and wrong, without staying and without going-this then is the Great Way. After I have gone just practice according to the Dharma in the same way that you did on the days that I was with you.
                            Sitting while being unattached, and dropping all human judgments such as motion and stillness, coming, going, right and wrong, birth and death is at the heart of Shikantaza.

                            This mirrors the guidance in many early Chan writings such as the Xin Xin Ming ...

                            The Great Way is not difficult
                            for those not attached to preferences.
                            When neither love nor hate arises,
                            all is clear and undisguised.


                            http://www.zenforuminternational.org/vi ... =10&t=7166

                            2 - Beyond that is the "noninstrumentalist" view of Zazen (both in its seated form and "Zazen" as all life's practice) as enlightenment itself without need to attain (HOWEVER, a view of non-attainment and ever present "Buddha-mind" that must be attained, for attaining this mind of "nothing to attain" is true attainment! Practice is something we "realize", meaning both "realize" as to "grock" and pierce ... and "realize" as "making real in life" through our words, thoughts and acts). We are all Buddha from the outset, with not one thing in need of change ... but we need to realize such truth, live and act like Buddhas (which works a tremendous change!). Practice must be put into practice, realization made real in life ... thus Hui-Neng's great emphasis on seeing clearly with "straightforward mind" and living by the Precepts. This is true both for Zazen on the cushion and Zazen all through life ... for, as Hui-neng says:

                            The samadhi of oneness is straightforward mind at all times, walking, staying, sitting, and lying down.
                            3 - And what is this "straightfoward mind"? What is the mind of Zazen? Hui-neng goes on to offer a very specific description again paralleling Shikantaza: Simply, to lets thoughts and the things of the environment rise and fall, come and go, without attachment to them or becoming 'entangled' No mention of anything to hold in mind, such as a Koan, Mantra, image of a Buddhaland or the like. No mindblowing states to experience or other worldly realms. Hui-neng clearly states that it is not to study the working of the mind, nor to try to focus on "purity". It is certainly not to try to silence or stop thoughts. Rather, thoughts and events must simply be allowed to 'circulate freely' without entanglement ... the core way of Shikantaza.

                            Only practicing straightforward mind, and in all things having no attachments whatsoever, is called the samadhi of oneness. [But] the deluded man clings to the characteristics of things, adheres to the samadhi of oneness, [thinks] that straightforward mind is sitting without moving and casting aside delusions without letting things arise in the mind. This he [falsely] considers to be the samadhi of oneness. This kind of practice is the same as insentiency and the cause of an obstruction to the Way. The Way must be something that circulates freely; why should he impede it? If the mind does not abide in things, the Way circulates freely; if the mind abides in things, it becomes entangled
                            Hui-neng teaches that Zazen is not about "stilling the mind" to have no thoughts, but about "non-thought, non-form, non-abiding", i.e., freedom from thoughts, form and abiding even amid thoughts form and abiding ... the heart of Shikantaza. Notice in the following that the problem is --not-- that "successive thoughts stop", but only that we do not cling to them:

                            Successive thoughts do not stop; prior thoughts, present thoughts, and future thoughts follow one after the other without cessation. If one instant of thought is cut off, the Dharma body separates from the physical body, and in the midst of successive thoughts there will be no place for attachment to anything. If one instant of thought clings, then successive thoughts cling; this is known as being fettered. If in all things successive thoughts do not cling, then you are unfettered. Therefore, non-abiding is made the basis.

                            Good friends, being outwardly separated from all forms, this is non-form. When you are separated from form, the substance of your nature is pure. Therefore, non-form is made the substance. To be unstained in all environments is called no-thought ...
                            As Dogen often emphasized, what matters is not the absence of words or thoughts, but the quality ... Thinking is not the problem, but how thinking is thought even living among the sense realms. Huineng's meaning that Zazen is not about stopping thoughts, but about seeing through and not being fettered by them (and the nature of what is thought), becomes even clearer in later passages.

                            True Reality is the substance of thoughts; thoughts are the function of True Reality. If you give rise to thoughts from your self-nature, then, although you see, hear, perceive, and know, you are not stained by the manifold environments, and are always free.
                            This is the reason we keep our eyes open in Zazen, and do not close them to the environment.

                            In case there is any doubt, this Zazen is seated Zazen ... but sitting unentangled by the forms seen outside through the open eyes, inwardly clear. It is --not-- to be without thoughts, but not to activate them, to pursue and become entangled. The very act of sitting is pure:

                            "Now that we know that this is so, what is it in this teaching that we call 'sitting in meditation' (tso-ch'an)? In this teaching 'sitting' means without any obstruction anywhere, outwardly and under all circumstances, not to activate thoughts. 'Meditation' is internally to see the original nature and not become confused.

                            And what do we call Ch'an meditation (ch'an-ting)? Outwardly to exclude form is 'ch'an'; inwardly to be unconfused is meditation (ting) . Even though there is form on the outside, when internally the nature is not confused, then, from the outset, you are of yourself pure and of yourself in meditation. The very contact with circumstances itself causes confusion . Separation from form on the outside is 'ch'an'; being untouched on the inside is meditation (ting). Being 'ch'an' externally and meditation (ting) internally, it is known as ch'an meditation (ch'an-ting).
                            Fully in and of the world and its circumstances, yet not trapped by the world inside or out.

                            We do not throw aside the things of the world, but see through them. Furthermore, do not become lost in 'Emptiness' without seeing the phenomena of this world, good and bad, beautiful and ugly:

                            Do not sit with a mind fixed on emptiness. If you do you will fall into a neutral kind of emptiness. Emptiness includes the sun, moon, stars, and planets, the great earth, mountains and rivers, all trees and grasses, bad men and good men, bad things and good things, heaven and hell; they are all in the midst of emptiness. The emptiness of human nature is also like this.

                            ... Although you see all men and non-men, evil and good, evil things and good things, you must not throw them aside, nor must you cling to them, nor must you be stained by them, but you must regard them as being just like the empty sky.
                            Do not throw them aside, neither be stained by them. Just sit with what is, as it is. This is enlightenment, this is awakening!

                            If, standing upon your own nature and mind, you illuminate with wisdom and make inside and outside clear, you will know your own original mind. If you know your original mind, this then is deliverance. Once you have attained deliverance this then is the prajna samadhi. If you have awakened to the prajna samadhi, this then is no-thought . What is no-thought? The Dharma of no-thought means: even though you see all things, you do not attach to them, but, always keeping your own nature pure, cause the six thieves to exit through the six gates [of the senses]. Even though you are in the midst of the six dusts, you do not stand apart from them, yet are not stained by them, and are free to come and go. This is the prajna samadhi, and being free and having achieved release is known as the practice of no-thought. ... If you awaken to the sudden doctrine of no-thought, you will have reached the status of the Buddha.
                            In the world of the senses, yet not their prisoner. As well, do not seek enlightenment, yet put enlightenment into Practice ...

                            Although enlightenment [bodhi] is originally pure,
                            Creating the mind that seeks it is then delusion.
                            The pure nature exists in the midst of delusions,
                            With correct [thoughts] alone remove the three obstacles.
                            If people in this world practice the Way,
                            There is nothing whatsoever to hinder them.
                            Anyway, the Platform Sutra is likely not actually the words of "Hui-Neng, the 6th Chan Patriarch", a largely fictional character (http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/His ... efeldt.htm). Nonethless, it is considered an early statement representative of the heart of our Zen Way. Thus, it is not surprising that the meditation style of the Platform Sutra smacks of Shikantaza, as Shikantaza smacks of Silent Illumination ... and such was pretty much the orthodox style of many of the early Chan masters, such as Sekito Kisen (Shitou Xiqian), just two generations from the 6th Patriarch.

                            The specific practice experience of shikan taza was first articulated in the Soto Zen lineage (Caodong in Chinese) by the Chinese master Hongzhi Zhengjue (1091-1157; Wanshi Shogaku in Japanese),and further elaborated by the Japanese Soto founder Eihei Dogen (1200-1253). But prior to their expressions of this experience, there are hints of this practice in some of the earlier teachers of the tradition. The founding teachers of this lineage run from Shitou Xiqian (700-790; Sekito Kisen in Japanese), two generations after the Chinese Sixth Ancestor, through three generations to Dongshan Liangjie (807-869; Tozan Ryokai in Japanese), the usually recognized founder of the Caodong, or Soto, lineage in China. ...

                            Shitou/ Sekito ... wrote another teaching poem, Soanka, "Song of the Grass Hut," which presents more of a practice model for how to develop the space that fosters just sitting. Therein Shitou says, "Just sitting with head covered all things are at rest. Thus this mountain monk does not understand at all." So just sitting does not involve reaching some understanding. It is the subtle activity of allowing all things to be completely at rest just as they are, not poking one's head into the workings of the world.

                            Shitou also says in Soanka, "Turn around the light to shine within, then just return. . . . Let go of hundreds of years and relax completely. Open your hands and walk, innocent." According to Shitou, the fundamental orientation of turning within, also later described by Hongzhi and Dogen, is simply in order to return to the world, and to our original quality. Letting go of conditioning while steeped in completely relaxed awareness, one is able to act effectively, innocent of grasping and attachments. So the context of this just sitting suggested by Shitou is the possibility of aware and responsive presence that is simple, open-hearted, and straightforward.

                            http://www.ancientdragon.org/dharma/art ... st_sitting
                            Last edited by Jundo; 01-22-2020, 02:19 AM.
                            ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                            Comment

                            • TyZa
                              Member
                              • May 2016
                              • 126

                              #15
                              Thank you for this Jundo. I'm reading the Platform Sutra now with Red Pine's commentary and this was a welcome discussion!


                              Originally posted by Sekishi
                              "This is the way."

                              Gassho,
                              Sekishi #sat #finishedthemandalorian
                              This is the way.


                              Gassho,
                              Tyler

                              SatToday

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