No need to do zazen, therefore must do zazen

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  • Andrea1974
    Member
    • Mar 2013
    • 56

    No need to do zazen, therefore must do zazen

    Lately I have been thinking quite a bit about why we practice. Is it because we want to find balance, calm our minds, get closer to who we really are, get enlightened? Aren't these all ways to replace a dwlusion with another? If we are all Buddhas already, then why do we go through the pain of sitting every day...to gain what? Nothing! Yet the question remains....for me at least. I just read a small article that tried to provide an answer to this question:

    I am sure this topic has been discussed before, but I would appreciate if you could share you views on this important aspect of practice.

    Gassho, A
  • Myoku
    Member
    • Jul 2010
    • 1487

    #2
    just 2 c: Its just as you say, no need to sit, so we sit. Not sitting to get enlightened, but sitting because we are buddha. No intellectual thing, practice unfolds itself through us, sitting is sitting sitting. Or just sitting. I could go on stirring the pot of words, but better not
    Gassho
    Myoku

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    • Kokuu
      Treeleaf Priest
      • Nov 2012
      • 6784

      #3
      It does sound paradoxical but, in my experience, thinking about this doesn't help me greatly. Others may feel differently. I sit Zazen to sit Zazen. For some time now I have recognised that my only part in the whole process is to practice. The rest will take care of itself. Why practice? What else would I do?

      If pressed for an answer, though, I would say that the waves of daily life can preoccupy my mind, Zazen is a way of remembering that I am actually the ocean rather than the waves.

      Gassho
      Andy

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      • Jishin
        Member
        • Oct 2012
        • 4820

        #4
        Originally posted by Andrea1974
        If we are all Buddhas already, then why do we go through the pain of sitting every day...to gain what? Nothing! Yet the question remains....for me at least.

        Gassho, A
        "Mayu, Zen master Baoche, was fanning himself. A monk approached and said, “Master, the nature of wind is permanent and there is no place it does not reach. Why, then, do you fan yourself?”
        “Although you understand that the nature of the wind is permanent,” Mayu replied, “you do not understand the meaning of its reaching everywhere.”
        “What is the meaning of its reaching everywhere?” asked the monk again. Mayu just kept fanning himself. The monk bowed deeply.
        The actualization of the buddha-dharma, the vital path of its correct transmission, is like this. If you say that you do not need to fan yourself because the nature of wind is permanent and you can have wind without fanning, you will understand neither permanence nor the nature of wind. The nature of wind is permanent. Because of that, the wind of the buddha's house brings forth the gold of the earth and makes fragrant the cream of the long river." - Genjokoan

        Gassho, John


        Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
        Last edited by Jishin; 05-18-2013, 02:48 PM.

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        • Daitetsu
          Member
          • Oct 2012
          • 1145

          #5
          So many good answers!

          When we sit we are the whole universe just being itself without any clinging/attaching/judging.
          We practice zazen to just be. No doing, but pure being.
          Nothing to add, no purpose, the most honest thing to do: just sit in order to sit. The whole self being the whole self.

          Gassho,

          Timo
          no thing needs to be added

          Comment

          • Nengyo
            Member
            • May 2012
            • 668

            #6
            Originally posted by LimoLama
            So many good answers!

            When we sit we are the whole universe just being itself without any clinging/attaching/judging.
            We practice zazen to just be. No doing, but pure being.
            Nothing to add, no purpose, the most honest thing to do: just sit in order to sit. The whole self being the whole self.

            Gassho,

            Timo
            Perfect
            If I'm already enlightened why the hell is this so hard?

            Comment

            • Jundo
              Treeleaf Founder and Priest
              • Apr 2006
              • 39441

              #7
              Lovely. A message I wish all the world realized. I am glad that some here seem to.

              Originally posted by Andrea1974
              ... get closer to who we really are, get enlightened? ...
              We cannot get closer to what we already are ... and the more and more we realize so, the closer we get!


              Originally posted by Karasu
              I would say that the waves of daily life can preoccupy my mind, Zazen is a way of remembering that I am actually the ocean rather than the waves.
              Yes, we can drown in the up and down waves. However, never forget that the waves are just the ocean all along, and an ocean without waves would be a pretty lifeless place.

              Gassho, J
              ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

              Comment

              • Rich
                Member
                • Apr 2009
                • 2601

                #8
                I don't think sitting needs to be painful. If your posture is painful try another posture or use a chair for all or part of your sitting. On the other hand I don't. Go to a doctor for every little ache or pain. Wjhen dogen said the joy and ease of just sitting he wasn't kidding. Imho
                _/_
                Rich
                MUHYO
                無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

                https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

                Comment

                • Heion
                  Member
                  • Apr 2013
                  • 232

                  #9
                  One of the messages I liked in a talk by Jundo is that each moment of sitting and practicing is enlightenment.

                  Kind regards,
                  Alex
                  Look upon the world as a bubble,
                  regard it as a mirage;
                  who thus perceives the world,
                  him Mara, the king of death, does not see.


                  —Dhammapada



                  Sat Today

                  Comment

                  • Seizan
                    Member
                    • Sep 2012
                    • 213

                    #10
                    Alex,

                    You might enjoy reading Mind of Clover, the book we studied for Jukai. It's a bit of a guide to "real life Zen." I just re-read the section on anger, which I thought of when you mentioned "...to get enlightened?" The writer brings up the views on enlightenment in the traditional Soto teachings. It might be interesting to research Yasutani Roshi's views on enlightenment. It's something I mean to look up, and then re-read Jundo's views, and then possibly discuss with Taigu. It all gets a bit paradoxical, from zazen to enlightenment to being a Buddha, but maybe figuring out there is nothing to figure out is the path! I always think of Jundo's comments on his Big Questions/Reincarnation post: do what you are supposed to do, be a good person and sit and chug along, and the rest will work it outself it! That's paraphrasing and probably over simplifying, but I'm on break and on limited time I will edit this later with his real quote.

                    In deep Gassho
                    Seizan

                    Comment

                    • YuimaSLC
                      Member
                      • Aug 2012
                      • 93

                      #11
                      No need to do zazen, therefore must do zazen

                      Perhaps we can get Jundo, Taigu or one of our priests to relate the story of Dogen, the Tendai Shu and one of his significant motivations for going to China to search for meaning to
                      a question that looks very much like Andrea's.

                      Gassho

                      Richard
                      Last edited by YuimaSLC; 05-18-2013, 08:41 PM. Reason: grammatical correction

                      Comment

                      • Jundo
                        Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                        • Apr 2006
                        • 39441

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Seizan
                        Alex,

                        You might enjoy reading Mind of Clover, the book we studied for Jukai. It's a bit of a guide to "real life Zen." I just re-read the section on anger, which I thought of when you mentioned "...to get enlightened?" The writer brings up the views on enlightenment in the traditional Soto teachings. It might be interesting to research Yasutani Roshi's views on enlightenment.
                        Hi Seizen,

                        Yasutani Roshi is one of the focuses of the book "Once Born Twice Born Zen" in our "How to read Zen books Series".

                        Part 1
                        Hi All, I thought to post some special reading topics. The theme is "readings that will help in understanding Zen readings". 8) For years and years, after first starting Zen practice, I would read many "Zen Books" but not quite understand why so many seemed to be saying rather different things (or the same


                        Part 2
                        Howdy, I'd like to continue this special series of "readings that will help in understanding Zen readings" with a bit more of ... Once-Born, Twice-Born Zen by Conrad Hyers I agree with those folks who think the "Once-Born Twice-Born" categories are a bit black/white and broad brush. I do think the book


                        A famous article about Yautani Roshi is by Prof. Robert Sharf ...

                        The Sanbôkyôdan (Three Treasures Association) is a contemporary Zen movement that was founded by Yasutani Hakuun (1885-1973) in 1954. The style of Zen propagated by Sanbôkyôdan teachers, noteworthy for its single-minded emphasis on the experience of kenshô, diverges markedly from more traditional models found in Sôtô, Rinzai, or Oobaku training halls. ... [I]n 1954 Yasutani Hakuun (1885-1973), the Zen priest whose teachings are featured in The Three Pillars of Zen, severed his formal ties to the Sôtô school in order to establish an independent Zen organization called the Sanbôkyôdan, or "Three Treasures Association." The influence exerted by this contemporary lay reform movement on American Zen is out of proportion to its relatively marginal status in Japan: modern Rinzai and Sôtô monks are generally unaware of, or indifferent to, the polemical attacks that Yasutani and his followers direct against the Zen priesthood. Orthodox priests are similarly unmoved by claims to the effect that the Sanbôkyôdan alone preserves the authentic teachings of Zen. ...

                        The only acceptable "solution" to the mu kôan in the Sanbôkyôdan is a credible report of a kenshô experience, and beginning students are subject to intense pressure during sesshin -- including the generous application of the "warning stick" (kyôsaku or keisaku) -- in order to expedite this experience. The unrelenting emphasis on kenshô and the vigorous tactics used to bring it about constitute the single most distinctive (and controversial) feature of the Sanbôkyôdan method. Eido Shimano, recalling Yasutani's first sesshin in Hawaii in 1962, writes:

                        The night before sesshin started, Yasutani Roshi said to the participants, "To experience kensho is crucial, but we are so lazy. Therefore, during sesshin we have to set up a special atmosphere so that all participants can go straight ahead toward the goal. First, absolute silence should be observed. Second, you must not look around. Third, forget about the usual courtesies and etiquette" . . . He also told the participants, and later told me privately as well, of the need for frequent use of the keisaku. That five-day sesshin was as hysterical as it was historical. It ended with what Yasutani Roshi considered five kenshô experiences.
                        (Nyogen et al. 1976, pp. 184-85)[28]

                        While Yasutani's successors are considerably more reserved in their use of the kyôsaku, the emphasis on kenshô has not diminished, prompting one student of Yamada to refer to the San'un Zendô as a "kenshô machine" (Levine 1992, p. 72).

                        Hi All, I thought to post some special reading topics. The theme is "readings that will help in understanding Zen readings". 8) For years and years, after first starting Zen practice, I would read many "Zen Books" but not quite understand why so many seemed to be saying rather different things (or the same

                        Most of his students, like Aitken Roshi, are a gentler reflection of Yasutani Roshi approach. Oh well, there are no "northern and southern ancestors", yet different paths north and south. Some prefer the high road to "no where to go", some prefer the low road to "no where to go". Our Nishijima Roshi was also a similar "reformer of Soto shu", a Japanese man of the same attitude and generation as Yasutani, likewise a mosquito on the hind quarters of Soto shu in Japan, but a "Shikantaza" fundamentalist perhaps.

                        Originally posted by Richard
                        Perhaps we can get Jundo, Taigu or one of our priests to relate the story of Dogen, the Tendai Shu and one of his significant motivations for going to China to search for meaning to
                        a question that looks very much like Andrea's.

                        Gassho

                        Richard
                        Well, the story goes that Dogen, who was originally a monk in the Tendai School of Buddhism, was so puzzled in his youth by the traditional Tendai Buddhist teaching that we are all "originally Buddha from the get go" that Dogen wondered why, then, the need to Practice. He went to China in search of an answer to that question.

                        The answer he found is what we discuss here all the time: Although we are already "Buddha", one needs both to realize that fact (understand it in one's bones) and to realize that fact (make it real through our practice, bring it to life by how we behave. If one is Buddha, one best act like it! ) Saying "I am Buddha" is not enough if one is then going to go out and be filled with greed, anger, jealousy, division and all the rest.

                        In fact, both "Kensho or bust" folk and "Shikantaza Just Sitting" folk are all about realizing that one is "Just Buddha All Along", and then, getting up from the Zafu and hopefully making such real.

                        Gassho, Jundo
                        Last edited by Jundo; 05-19-2013, 01:53 AM.
                        ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

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                        • Kyonin
                          Treeleaf Priest / Engineer
                          • Oct 2010
                          • 6742

                          #13
                          I don't know why I sit. I just do. Feels natural. A part of me. Like breathing.

                          Gassho,

                          Kyonin
                          Hondō Kyōnin
                          奔道 協忍

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                          • Andrea1974
                            Member
                            • Mar 2013
                            • 56

                            #14
                            Thanks for all your answers!
                            Gassho, A

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                            • arnold
                              Member
                              • Mar 2013
                              • 78

                              #15
                              Perhaps we don't "choose" Zazen at all. Perhaps we are simply fortunate enough that causes and conditions (that great ocean-tide of Karma) sweep us onto our cushions again and again...

                              Thinking of this fills me with gratitude for all of those ancestors (both Dharmic and genetic) that have brought each of us to this ground. It fills me with gratitude for all of those people and beings living right here now; for time and for space, for everything that supports and sustains this practice, this life.

                              Gassho,

                              Arnold

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