Shikantaza as Metta Practice | Metta Practice as Shikantaza

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  • Khalil Bodhi
    Member
    • Apr 2012
    • 317

    Shikantaza as Metta Practice | Metta Practice as Shikantaza

    Hello all,

    I have been away for quite some time but hope to participate in this year's jukai. I have been meditating in my absence and have come upon the idea that one way of seeing our complete acceptance of the moment by moment awareness as each new phenomenon arises, persists and passes away is to view it almost as a form of metta practice in its more passive, receptive form. Ajahn Achalo ( a bhikkhu in the Thai Forest Theravada tradition) holds that before we can begin to radiate metta effectively we need to have this kind of loving-acceptance as a foundation. As I sat in shikantaza today it came upon me that holding experience gently and with a mind/heart of love and concern may be exactly what he is talking about. Thoughts? Am I wrong to make the connection?

    Gassho,

    Mike
    To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
    -Dhp. 183
    My Practice Blog
  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39453

    #2
    Hi (waiting for plane back to Japan)

    Yes, I feel that Compassion and Loving Kindness naturaly arise in and are nurtured by Shikantaza.

    But do not think about it, or much of anything, during Zazen.

    Gassho J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    Comment

    • Khalil Bodhi
      Member
      • Apr 2012
      • 317

      #3
      Rev. Jundo,

      Thanks for that!

      Gassho,

      Mike
      To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
      -Dhp. 183
      My Practice Blog

      Comment

      • Kyonin
        Treeleaf Priest / Engineer
        • Oct 2010
        • 6742

        #4
        Hi Mike,

        Almost all my zazen sessions begin with me sending or feeling metta for someone. After a couple of minutes I simply let the idea float away.

        I have found that daily metta makes one a lot more attuned to the Four Noble Truths.

        Gassho,

        Kyonin
        Hondō Kyōnin
        奔道 協忍

        Comment

        • Khalil Bodhi
          Member
          • Apr 2012
          • 317

          #5
          Thanks Kyonin! I honestly do not know where I would be without metta.

          Gassho,

          Mike
          To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
          -Dhp. 183
          My Practice Blog

          Comment

          • Jika
            Member
            • Jun 2014
            • 1337

            #6
            Thank you for asking and answering.

            Until now, I had set my timer into two sections (second one normally for kinhin), to add metta practice after zazen.
            So, I sometimes do a dedication of zazen when thinking of someone really in need.
            Then I do shikantaza.
            Then I add the metta practice as described elsewhere.
            I've got the impression that naming people (good friends in need, but also people I find difficult) is really helpful.
            I end with including all beings, which leaves me with the bird singing outside my window again, or the neighbour shouting at his kid.
            Those are often the best times of zazen.

            Gassho,
            Danny
            治 Ji
            花 Ka

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