Astus wrote:Many Zen groups provide instructions for newcomers. If they didn't you should just ask, or maybe it's on their website. Otherwise you can read online and in books.
Here is a good one from the Soto teacher Shohaku Okumura: Zazen instruction
This is a classic teaching by the great Hanshan Deqing: Essentials of Practice and Enlightenment for Beginners
You should also familiarise yourself with Zhiyi's shorter meditation instruction for a more in depth knowledge: The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation
Astus wrote:Zen can utilise any meditation technique. Shikantaza is just one of them, while at the same time there are others too. So, if your question is about Shikantaza, then look at the first link by Okamura roshi.
The "mental technique" of Shikantaza is what is called no-thought (wunian/munen) in other Chan texts, the central method of sudden enlightenment since Heze Shenhui (or Huineng in traditional Zen history, see the Platform Sutra), otherwise called prajnaparamita in the sutras. It simply means not attaching to anything but being aware of everything at the same time. Just as Okamura writes, "In zazen we simply allow any thought, feeling or emotion to come up and then we simply let them go away; we actually do nothing." This is not shamatha nor is it vipashyana, if anything it is both at the same time. You don't block anything (shamatha - imperturbable), and you don't drop anything (vipashayana - aware).
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