Shikantaza

Shikantaza

Postby Greg_the_poet » Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:00 am

I want to know if you agree with this Priests teaching of Shikantaza? Suzuki Roshi emphasized following the breath, as did Deshimaru (From the lineage I follow), Yet I prefer this priests teaching of Shikantaza.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suD57Mb6gOw
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby oushi » Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:45 am

Then follow him!
Just sitting is just sitting. Not sitting like him, or her, but just sitting. Nothing to do, nothing to gain.
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby Astus » Sun Nov 03, 2013 9:27 pm

Following the breath is breath meditation (see Anapanasati and The Six Dharma Gates to the Sublime). Shikantaza is something else, as explained in that video. See the Zazen instruction of Shohaku Okumura. You may also look at the instructions on the official Soto site, although as an end note there it mentions breath awareness (and makes an incorrect distinction between Hinayana and Mahayana), in the actual guide on what to do with the mind it only says, "Do not concentrate on any particular object or control your thought. ... Just leave thoughts alone, allowing them to come up and go away freely. The essential thing in doing zazen is to awaken (kakusoku) from distraction and dullness, and return to the right posture moment by moment." The Zazen Yojinki is also a very good classical instruction.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby Koji » Sun Nov 03, 2013 10:53 pm

Is shikantaza something Dogen made up?
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby dharmagoat » Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:11 am

Koji wrote:Is shikantaza something Dogen made up?

He developed it further, and gave it a new name.
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby Wayfarer » Mon Nov 04, 2013 7:26 am

He is one of the two teachers at Treeleaf Zendo, the other being Jundo Cohen (who has posted here in the past). They're part of the Soto lineage of Nishijima -roshi, albeit with a big emphasis on online teachings, sesshins, and other online activities.

I don't know how a practice called 'just sitting' ought to need a lot of elaboration. It pretty well means what it says. Just sit.

:namaste:
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby Matylda » Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:06 am

Greg_the_poet wrote:I want to know if you agree with this Priests teaching of Shikantaza? Suzuki Roshi emphasized following the breath, as did Deshimaru (From the lineage I follow), Yet I prefer this priests teaching of Shikantaza.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suD57Mb6gOw


I think that it is a little problem with those instructions... I do not mean to criticize rev. Taigu, but...
There was already a lot of talk about ST on this forum... and probably what we do not realize is, that ST is properly taught by people who had genuine realization of this practice, which by itself is a pinacle of all practices and ways. So for someone inexperienced even one who is a teacher, to give instrutions to ST on ones own is risky matter. Then it may slip in some personal input, kind of the view which may contradict the essense of ST. Or there could be made up some interpretations which are in the limits of personal views but not in fact not be a view of ST.
Somehow instructions of Suzuki or Deshimaru could be safer for those who lack contact with truely realized being in ST. But if we follow self made ideas of others the harm is almost guaranteed. Anyway better get to the right teacher. What if teacher does not have a realization? Is he or she excluded from teaching or instructing others? In a way, no... but then should stick to properly transmitted instructions from ones own teacher or lineage. It is safer for others.
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby Lindama » Tue Nov 05, 2013 3:15 am

Also, remember that Suzuki Roshi was teaching the flower children in San Francisco in the 60's. They were young and Buddhism was basically unknown in this country. Good teaching is always for the student before a master.
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby desertman001 » Sun Nov 10, 2013 11:01 pm

whether you sit with close attention to breath or just sit with awareness returning to posture you are putting a leash on your mind. When you stop tugging on the leash you can enter Shikantaza and sit clearly. Proper posture should be ingrained so when the leash gets a tug you can simply return to your body posture without having to think a lot. Imo starting with a very short leash eliminates uncertainty about how to practice. It is watching the breath or whatever, very closely, more concentration required.
A long leash, more Soto, has less struggle, less direct conflict with the overwhelming torrent of thoughts, less tugging on the leash. Long or short leash, eventually the tugging stops. To a Rinzia practitioner that is when you can enter into Shikantaza. In the Soto perpective that is when your Shikantaza has ripened. Everything up to that point is just method. They may have different amenities to offer but the whole spectrum of Shikantaza, from Nishijima to Yasutani is imo one practice with many flavors. So take your choice based on your own personalities.
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby Greg_the_poet » Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:31 am

Do any of you Anapanasati as well as Shikantaza? Or does that just bring with it idealistic ideas?
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby Martin007 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:03 pm

Greg_the_poet wrote:Do any of you Anapanasati as well as Shikantaza? Or does that just bring with it idealistic ideas?


In practice I seem to start with anapanasati and then move to shikantaza...I think. ;)
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby daverupa » Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:23 pm

Greg_the_poet wrote:Do any of you Anapanasati as well as Shikantaza? Or does that just bring with it idealistic ideas?


They're sort of opposed; anapanasati calls for calming various sankhara, citta, and engaging in renunciation of sensuality generally - basically, addressing the hindrances with antidotes while developing the awakening factors. Shikantaza goes elsewhere.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby Astus » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:56 am

Shikantaza is almost what in Theravada they call the awareness of rise and fall, the difference lies in the background explanation. So it's not difficult to integrate breath awareness and shikantaza, since shikantaza is basically prajnaparamita. As mentioned above, if you follow Zhiyi's Six Gates then you cover it all in an organised fashion.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby Matylda » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:54 pm

Astus wrote:Shikantaza is almost what in Theravada they call the awareness of rise and fall, the difference lies in the background explanation. So it's not difficult to integrate breath awareness and shikantaza, since shikantaza is basically prajnaparamita. As mentioned above, if you follow Zhiyi's Six Gates then you cover it all in an organised fashion.


ST has nothing to do with rise and fall, neither it is integration of breath awarness and ST... nor Zhiy taught ST.
The only close source for ST is Wanshi Shogaku teaching.
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby seeker242 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:05 pm

Lindama wrote:Also, remember that Suzuki Roshi was teaching the flower children in San Francisco in the 60's. They were young and Buddhism was basically unknown in this country. Good teaching is always for the student before a master.


Especially so if a student has an active monkey mind that needs to be quieted some first. Good teacher will first teach quieting as an initial introduction to the practice. It seems a lot of teachers first start people out with just breathing.
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby Paul » Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:40 pm

oushi wrote:Then follow him!
Just sitting is just sitting. Not sitting like him, or her, but just sitting. Nothing to do, nothing to gain.


Nice.

jeeprs wrote:He is one of the two teachers at Treeleaf Zendo, the other being Jundo Cohen (who has posted here in the past). They're part of the Soto lineage of Nishijima -roshi, albeit with a big emphasis on online teachings, sesshins, and other online activities.

I don't know how a practice called 'just sitting' ought to need a lot of elaboration. It pretty well means what it says. Just sit.

:namaste:


It's too simple for the ordinary human mind I would think. Same issue with the instructions of Dzogchen. You tell someone to just sit there and do nothing and they will spend ages trying to figure out how to do nothing properly.
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby Astus » Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:55 pm

Matylda wrote:ST has nothing to do with rise and fall, neither it is integration of breath awarness and ST... nor Zhiy taught ST.
The only close source for ST is Wanshi Shogaku teaching.


I said that based on what is found in Dogen's, Keizan's and Uchiyama's instructions, plus others, about shikantaza. How do you define shikantaza?
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby Martin007 » Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:15 pm

daverupa wrote:
Greg_the_poet wrote:Do any of you Anapanasati as well as Shikantaza? Or does that just bring with it idealistic ideas?


They're sort of opposed; anapanasati calls for calming various sankhara, citta, and engaging in renunciation of sensuality generally - basically, addressing the hindrances with antidotes while developing the awakening factors. Shikantaza goes elsewhere.


I'd say that's true of samatha, Dave, but not of anapanasati as described by the 4 tetrads.
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby dharmagoat » Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:34 pm

daverupa wrote:Shikantaza goes elsewhere.

Not wanting to split hairs, but isn't the point of Shikantaza that it doesn't go anywhere?

Sorry to have to point it out, but it just doesn't sound right.
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby daverupa » Thu Nov 14, 2013 3:38 pm

porpoise wrote:
daverupa wrote:
Greg_the_poet wrote:Do any of you Anapanasati as well as Shikantaza? Or does that just bring with it idealistic ideas?


They're sort of opposed; anapanasati calls for calming various sankhara, citta, and engaging in renunciation of sensuality generally - basically, addressing the hindrances with antidotes while developing the awakening factors. Shikantaza goes elsewhere.


I'd say that's true of samatha, Dave, but not of anapanasati as described by the 4 tetrads.


Samatha and vipassana are paired qualities developed by anapanasati; the first tetrad calls for calming kaya-sankhara, the second tetrad calls for calming citta-sankhara, the third tetrad calls for releasing citta, and the fourth tetrad calls for renunciation and letting go (in brief), or continuing to deal with the hindrances & awakening factors (in detail).

dharmagoat wrote:
daverupa wrote:Shikantaza goes elsewhere.

Not wanting to split hairs, but isn't the point of Shikantaza that it doesn't go anywhere?

Sorry to have to point it out, but it just doesn't sound right.


It's a figure of speech, try not to let it snag. The point is that it is a very different set of instructions than anapanasati.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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