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  • will
    • Jun 2007
    • 2331


    A post on Shikantaza for those who are trying to figure it out:

    but I still could not understand the practice.

    There is nothing to understand.

    So I tried to ask the question and hopefully it was not a bad question (at least I did not mean anything bad).

    There are no bad questions.

    I have read Fukanzazengi and a commentary to it by a certain french Zen teacher the name of whom I don't remember.

    In the Fukanzazengi it says (read it carefully):

    The Way is basically perfect and all-pervading. How could it be contingent upon practice and realization?


    In meditating you should have a quiet room. Eat and drink in moderation.


    Do not strive to become the Buddha. Do not cling to sitting or lying down.


    In the sitting place, spread a thick square cushion and on top of it put a round cushion. Some meditate in Paryanka (full cross-legged sitting) and others in half Paryanka. Prepare by wearing your robe and belt loosely. Then rest your right hand on your left foot, your left hand in your right palm. Press your thumbs together.

    Sit upright. Do not lean to the left or right, forward or backward. Place your ears in the same plane as your shoulders, your nose in line with your navel. Keep your tongue against the palate and close your lips and teeth firmly. Keep your eyes open. Inhale quietly. Settle your body comfortably. Exhale sharply. Move your body to the left and right. Then sit cross-legged steadily.


    This cross-legged sitting is not step by step meditation. It is merely comfortable teaching. It is the training and enlightenment of thorough wisdom. The Koan will appear in daily life. You are completely free - like the dragon that has water or the tiger that depends on the mountain. You must realize that the Right Law naturally appears, and your mind will be free from sinking and distraction.When you stand from zazen, shake your body and arise calmly. Do not move violently. That which transcends the commoner and the sage - dying while sitting and standing is obtained through the help of this power: this I have seen. Also the supreme function (lifting the finger, using the needle, hitting the wooden gong) and enlightenment signs (raising the hossu, striking with the fist; hitting with the staff; shouting): are not understood- by discrimination.


    It is a condition (sitting, standing, sleeping) beyond voice and visible things. It is the true beyond discriminatory views. So don't argue about the wise and foolish. If you can only train hard, this is true enlightenment. Training and enlightenment are by nature undefiled. Living by Zen is not separated from daily life.


    If you mistake the first step, you will stumble immediately. You have already obtained the vital functions of man's body.

    Basically Dogen is saying: "Practice is right here." The very act of sitting, standing and walking is practice. No matter what we do, there is no "wrong way" to sit Shikantaza, or do Zazen. We just do it.

    Genjo Koan:

    To study the 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.

    Don't try to figure it out.

    Thank you

    To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
    To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
    To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
    To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.