How to do Shikantaza

Collapse
X
 
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts
  • shikantazen
    Member
    • Feb 2013
    • 361

    How to do Shikantaza

    what is shikantaza?

    how to do shikantaza?

    why do i have to figure it out?

    shikantaza is what happens when you sit
    just sit
    sit anyway
    just get out of the way

    jundo might say it is sitting as buddha
    taigu might say it is being aware of what is happening
    uchiyama might say it is coming back again and again to just sitting
    someone else might say not getting lost in thought is shikantaza
    but it doesn't matter

    you may do these when you sit but not doing any of this doesn't make it not-shikantaza
    all these methods are just pointers
    the moment you take a "method" and call it shikantaza then regret arises when you notice you are not following the method
    you don't accept what is happening when it doesnt fit into the method, whether it is getting lost in thought or feeling drowsy or something else
    the method puts boundaries around what needs to happen during sitting and what should not
    the method might also tell you to accept whatever else is happening, but as long as the mind has a method, i don't think we can do away with the boundaries it creates

    so just sit without defining it, sit with the confusion and lack of direction, sit with your concerns on how ineffective it could be, letting go/letting be of the meditator or the one that is trying to get it right
    a method might give you the feeling that you are going somewhere, when you take out the method you directly face that idea of going somewhere and the fear of going nowhere

    all of this is crap too
    just throw it away and sit
    sit, it doesn't matter how you do it as long as you don't fight it
    Last edited by shikantazen; 07-24-2013, 03:35 AM.
  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39392

    #2
    Oh my Buddha, FINALLY this guy is coming to his senses!

    Lovely.

    Gassho, J

    PS - That still does not mean that just sitting any old way, like a bump on a log, twiddling one's thumbs or taking a nap is "Shikantaza". It would not be, even though there is no method or boundary on what is "Shikantaza".
    Last edited by Jundo; 07-24-2013, 04:14 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    Comment

    • shikantazen
      Member
      • Feb 2013
      • 361

      #3

      Comment

      • Koshin
        Member
        • Feb 2012
        • 938

        #4
        Great... thank you

        Gassho


        Sent from Tapatalk 2
        Thank you for your practice

        Comment

        • lordbd
          Member
          • Jul 2013
          • 68

          #5
          Well said! I suppose the contradiction inherent in "just sitting" which is really MORE than just sitting but truly ISNT MORE than just sitting is what makes it Shikantaza
          I took an art class once in high school. I just could NOT draw that damn bicycle. Teacher told me, "Stop looking at the page. Look at the damn bicycle."

          Comment

          • Mp

            #6
            Wonderful!

            Gassho
            Shingen

            Comment

            • Kokuu
              Treeleaf Priest
              • Nov 2012
              • 6781

              #7
              Great, Sam!


              Andy

              Comment

              • Jundo
                Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                • Apr 2006
                • 39392

                #8
                To quote myself (something I am very good at) ...

                ---------------------

                [O]ur “goalless sitting” in Zazen is –not– merely sitting on our butts, self-satisfied, feeling that we “just have to sit here and we are Buddha“. Far from it. It is, instead, to-the-marrow dropping of all need and lack. That is very different. Someone’s “just sitting around” doing nothing, going no where, complacent or resigned, giving up, killing time, is not in any way the same as “Just Sitting” practice wherein nothing need be done, with no where that we can go or need go ...

                ... So, if someone were to think I am saying, “All you need to do in Zazen is sit down on one’s hindquarters, and that’s enough … just twiddle your thumbs in the ‘Cosmic Mudra’ and you are Buddha” then, respectfully, I believe they do not get my point. But if they understand, “There is absolutely no place to be, where one needs to be or elsewhere where one can be, than on that Zafu in that moment, and that moment itself is all complete, all-encompassing, always at home, the total doing of All Life, Time and Space fully realized” … they are closer to the flavor.



                --------------------------

                There is no way to do Zazen "wrong" ... even when you are doing it completely "wrong".

                (That does not mean, though, that there is not a "right" and "wrong" way to "do" it).

                There is no 'bad" Zazen, even the bad Zazen. ...

                Thus, allowing things to just be the way they are, no judging, not resisting, being with the flow, allowing 'happy' days to be happy and 'sad' days to be sad, all while dropping all idea of 'happy' and 'sad', whether really enjoying or really not enjoying ... fully dropping away any and all thought of doing Zazen 'right' or doing it 'wrong' ... THIS IS DOING IT RIGHT. And when you are doing it right, it will usually feel like you are doing it right, for there is no resistance, and a great sense of balance, insight and brilliance..

                Fighting things, wishing things were some other way that how they are, judging, resisting, going against the grain and the flow, wishing 'sad' days were happy or 'happy' days were happier ... filled with a sense of self bumping up against all the other 'selfs', with a mind held by thoughts of doing Zazen 'right' or doing it 'wrong' ... THIS IS DOING ZAZEN WRONG. And when you are doing it wrong, it will usually feel like you are doing it wrong, for there is resistance, and a sense of imbalance, cloudiness, greyness.

                But as well, even at those times when Zazen feels 'wrong', when there is resistance or imbalance ... it is still 'right', still 'Zazen', still just what it is. IT CANNOT BE WRONG. This last point is vital to understanding.

                Yes, that is a Koan. Is it clear? Please really really penetrate in your body and mind what I just wrote.

                Hi, I BELIEVE THE FOLLOWING TO BE SO VITAL, FOR NEW AND OLD, THAT I AM GOING TO MAKE A SPECIAL REPOST. It is the "there is good Zazen, and bad Zazen ... but never any bad Zazen" post ... _________________________________________________ Hey All, I would like to repost something that I think is important to


                Gassho, J
                ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                Comment

                • Jundo
                  Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                  • Apr 2006
                  • 39392

                  #9
                  By the way, Sam ...

                  Originally posted by shikantazen
                  jundo might say it is sitting as buddha
                  taigu might say it is being aware of what is happening
                  I say it is Buddha sitting Buddha ... Buddha-Buddhaing-Buddha.

                  But I also feel that Taigu did not say quite what you say he said. This his from his amazing "How To Sit", and is not just "being aware of what is happening" ...

                  In [Zazen], endless delusions will appear and disappear. Dreams and shadows will arise, let them come and go. Even these thoughts are the very stuff the original ground is made of. In the mountain state, how could the big sky obstruct clouds roaming and drifting? How could a cloud hide the vast blue body? Blue sky or clouds, same origin. Just be awake to the scenery of the body- mind and as you drift away, just come back, here and now. And come back again. You may put your mind in the palm of your left hand, be aware of the vertical spine, being awake to sounds without following them; ultimately there is nothing to do and nobody to do anything. Let not knowing manifest.

                  This sitting is without object or intention. Just the clear, non judgmental, panoramic attention to what arises here and now. Don't be attached to your thoughts of understanding or not understanding, of being right or wrong, break free from the realm of desires and intentions , be still, be the full body of reflection without judging self or others. To sit like this is to live and thoroughly experience the great question, to fully pierce it and penetrate it.
                  Inspired by the teaching of Dogen, the wonderful stuff of my own original teacher, Mike Chodo Cross, by the great prose of Koun Franz, the teaching of Jundo and plenty of guys who all along did put into words how to sit, I made an attempt at putting it in a nutshell. Here it is. I hope this will really help. Gassho Taigu


                  Gassho, J
                  ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                  Comment

                  • alan.r
                    Member
                    • Jan 2012
                    • 546

                    #10
                    Sam, man, this is pretty awesome.

                    Gassho
                    Shōmon

                    Comment

                    • shikantazen
                      Member
                      • Feb 2013
                      • 361

                      #11
                      jundo, you said it many times there is no wrong or right zazen but it never got into my thick head
                      i just thought that it is a philosophy or ideal; not an instruction or one for practice
                      agree with you that it is not lazy/sleepy sitting, not that my agreement matters

                      many senior students gave me wonderful suggestions and pointers but i never got it. i was searching for the perfect method. that i could call shikantaza. "whatever is happening" being shikantaza sounded silly.

                      my post above might sound as if it is against methods. may be it is. my main point was that calling any method shikantaza limits "shikantaza" to that method. it doesn't do shikantaza justice, no matter how good the method is.

                      i tried following methods. my sitting felt like a struggle. where is the acceptance that all zen teachers talk about. most teachings say zazen is being aware yet non-manipulative/accepting of your experience. but all methods seem to be focusing only on the first part, being aware. my mind was too busy following the method, trying to stick to the method, trying to come back to present moment and trying to be aware. though the methods also say to accept all of my experience, i felt i am so busy trying to follow the method that it left no space to accept myself. may be if you follow the method long enough acceptance comes by itself.

                      i see the problem not with the method but in my definition of shikantaza to be the method.

                      i find it easier though to let things be as is, when i don't follow any method. i am not running after trying to be aware, trying to be present. i am calling where i am present. i see whats wrong with me asking all those questions.

                      Comment

                      • Kyonin
                        Treeleaf Priest / Engineer
                        • Oct 2010
                        • 6742

                        #12
                        Hi

                        Thank you for this post.

                        Gassho,

                        Kyonin
                        Hondō Kyōnin
                        奔道 協忍

                        Comment

                        • Ed
                          Member
                          • Nov 2012
                          • 223

                          #13
                          I eat this up. Never get tired of hearing about the simplicity of Just Sitting, the "gate of joy and ease."
                          In gassho to all here,
                          Seido
                          "Know that the practice of zazen is the complete path of buddha-dharma and nothing can be compared to it....it is not the practice of one or two buddhas but all the buddha ancestors practice this way."
                          Dogen zenji in Bendowa





                          Comment

                          • MyoHo
                            Member
                            • Feb 2013
                            • 632

                            #14
                            Hi everyone ,

                            since we are on the subject I have a question about the practical side of sitting shikantaza. Not a very important one, just curious.

                            Sometimes, when sitting for an extended period, my body temperature rises up to the point of real sweating. Not something weird but more like a good workout! While sitting, it does not get in the way and it is not noticed but when the bell of my timer sounds, ending the session, I find myself soaked sometimes ( wearing a bandanna now while sitting) I know it is not the outside temperature or anything. It has to do with the process of sitting itself. As far as I know, I'm not straining my body or wiggling on the zafu. Has anyone have this experience?

                            Gassho

                            E.
                            Mu

                            Comment

                            • Jundo
                              Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                              • Apr 2006
                              • 39392

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Enkyo
                              Hi everyone ,

                              since we are on the subject I have a question about the practical side of sitting shikantaza. Not a very important one, just curious.

                              Sometimes, when sitting for an extended period, my body temperature rises up to the point of real sweating. Not something weird but more like a good workout! While sitting, it does not get in the way and it is not noticed but when the bell of my timer sounds, ending the session, I find myself soaked sometimes ( wearing a bandanna now while sitting) I know it is not the outside temperature or anything. It has to do with the process of sitting itself. As far as I know, I'm not straining my body or wiggling on the zafu. Has anyone have this experience?

                              Gassho

                              E.
                              Hi Enkyo,

                              You mean even in winter, or in a cold air conditioned room??? Hmmm.

                              There are certain kinds of yogic meditation that are said to do so, changing metabolism (traditionally put down to Ki and inner energies and such). The Tibetans are well known for their Tummo technique ...

                              Harvard researcher Herbert Benson, who has been studying a meditation technique known as “g Tum-mo” for 20 years, says that “Buddhists feel the reality we live in is not the…


                              I believe I have done something similar a few times, sitting in a nearly unheated Japanese temple during a Sesshin in the dead of winter. Feeling an inner fire, I sure felt like I was warming up. (Not Shikantaza, by the way ... just something I played with during a cold Sesshin).

                              Otherwise, unless one is sitting Shikantaza very intensely (Yasutani Roshi once spoke of sitting with the sweat pouring down one's brow, not a common way to sit), then I don't think so.

                              Is it possible that you are usually a sweaty guy, and just notice it when sitting?

                              Also, I have sweat many times when sitting, but that is usually due to sitting in several layers of priest robes in the hot of summer.

                              Gassho, Jundo
                              ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                              Comment

                              Working...