Shikantaza

Re: Shikantaza

Postby Matylda » Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:29 pm

Dear Jundo,

Yes we can continue on seeking all about ST, however it comes always down to the living teacher who can show the proper ST. Some masters took pain to be so compassionate to give advises to some extant, like Meiho in his discourse on zen practice one can find in KEIZAN ZEN vol XI publ. by Sankibo 1992, and in other places... Actually Meiho was quite explicit. but still one has to follow an experienced master. And it does not pay to follow teachings which have shallow roots. Dogen was very hard on it, what one can find in GAKUDO YOJIN SHU in the part X.. I found English translation by Yokoi from 1976.
Matylda
 
Posts: 343
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 3:32 pm

Re: Shikantaza

Postby omnifriend » Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:29 pm

when you have the proper posture then you will have shikantaza. shikantaza is like awareness without volition, you dont try to be aware, i would say the effort is in the posture then the awareness will take care of itself.
omnifriend
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:42 am

Re: Shikantaza

Postby omnifriend » Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:33 pm

shikantaza translates to "nothing but sitting".
omnifriend
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:42 am

Re: Shikantaza

Postby Matylda » Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:44 pm

omnifriend wrote:shikantaza translates to "nothing but sitting".


No it is not, what you wrote is interpretation not translation...
Matylda
 
Posts: 343
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 3:32 pm

Re: Shikantaza

Postby Matylda » Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:43 pm

Matylda wrote:
omnifriend wrote:shikantaza translates to "nothing but sitting".


No it is not, what you wrote is interpretation not translation...


SHIKAN TAZA 只管打坐

只 - SHI - only; free
管 - KAN - pipe; tube; wind instrument; drunken talk; control; jurisdiction
打 - TA - strike; hit; knock; pound;
坐 - ZA - sit
Matylda
 
Posts: 343
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 3:32 pm

Re: Shikantaza

Postby Astus » Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:06 pm

Matylda wrote:SHIKAN TAZA 只管打坐

只 - SHI - only; free
管 - KAN - pipe; tube; wind instrument; drunken talk; control; jurisdiction
打 - TA - strike; hit; knock; pound;
坐 - ZA - sit


If you don't mind, it's made of two words only, and the reading exists both in Japanese and Chinese.

只管 -
Chinese: zhǐ​guǎn : solely engrossed in one thing / just (one thing, no need to worry about the rest) / simply / by all means / please feel free / do not hesitate (to ask for sth)
Japanese: hitasura / shikan : nothing but; earnest; intent; determined; set on (something)

打坐 -
Chinese: dǎ​zuò : sit in meditation / to meditate
Japanese: taza : to sit for meditation
"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)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4213
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Shikantaza

Postby jundo cohen » Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:26 pm

Astus wrote:
Matylda wrote:SHIKAN TAZA 只管打坐

只 - SHI - only; free
管 - KAN - pipe; tube; wind instrument; drunken talk; control; jurisdiction
打 - TA - strike; hit; knock; pound;
坐 - ZA - sit


If you don't mind, it's made of two words only, and the reading exists both in Japanese and Chinese.

只管 -
Chinese: zhǐ​guǎn : solely engrossed in one thing / just (one thing, no need to worry about the rest) / simply / by all means / please feel free / do not hesitate (to ask for sth)
Japanese: hitasura / shikan : nothing but; earnest; intent; determined; set on (something)

打坐 -
Chinese: dǎ​zuò : sit in meditation / to meditate
Japanese: taza : to sit for meditation


Thank you, Astus. NICE! The translation hits the spot too. I have heard some other playful translations, but that is about the heart of the matter.

The only part I would quibble about is the "meditate/meditation" part at the end, for some of us Shikantaza folk make a big deal that "Zazen" is not "meditation". I think you have heard why many times before. If not, Taigen Dan Leighton's esssay is one of the best introductions to why (although he uses the "M word" in that essay I note) ...

http://www.ancientdragon.org/dharma/art ... ent_ritual

Gassho, Jundo
User avatar
jundo cohen
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:57 am

Re: Shikantaza

Postby Matylda » Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:36 pm

Astus wrote:
Matylda wrote:SHIKAN TAZA 只管打坐

只 - SHI - only; free
管 - KAN - pipe; tube; wind instrument; drunken talk; control; jurisdiction
打 - TA - strike; hit; knock; pound;
坐 - ZA - sit


If you don't mind, it's made of two words only, and the reading exists both in Japanese and Chinese.

只管 -
Chinese: zhǐ​guǎn : solely engrossed in one thing / just (one thing, no need to worry about the rest) / simply / by all means / please feel free / do not hesitate (to ask for sth)
Japanese: hitasura / shikan : nothing but; earnest; intent; determined; set on (something)

打坐 -
Chinese: dǎ​zuò : sit in meditation / to meditate
Japanese: taza : to sit for meditation



Of course I do not mind :) but in teaching on ST very often there is an analysis of every character, to show the source of profound meaning... at least in Japan it is done like this. Furthermore sometimes there is an analysis of all basic parts of the chinese character, to help disciples understand profounder meaning. Generally as you wrote it is used as 2 words. Specifically however there could be 4 words, plus each word put into particles, and then comes up an important instruction. Depending on the teacher skills, realization and understanding.

As for Japanese: taza : to sit for meditation it is not exactly so. Since the term does not come up in japanese language at all. It is very specific, and only for that particular tradition and is purposeful. So nobody translates it in modern japanese in that sense. At least nobody from the teachers I know.

As for Japanese: hitasura yes one can hear... but it is problematic. As far as I could hear from teachers, this word was used. But mostly in the circumstances when the instruction was very brief, and not for students but for a lay groups visiting temples and brief 20-30 minutes zazen, probably only once in their life :) So hitasura is daily expression for anything, or any activity. it helps people to get some hint, but is not actual instruction of ST.

Just for the purpose of help to understand vast and profound connotations of ST, firstly I wrote each character separately. Without any interpretation or comment.
Matylda
 
Posts: 343
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 3:32 pm

Re: Shikantaza

Postby Astus » Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:19 pm

Matylda,

I don't know that much about kanjis to be able to comprehend it fully when the character is broken down to elements, but I have seen that kind of explanation, although not yet for shikantaza itself. As for the "taza", yes, it was a Buddhist dictionary that came up with a meaning on its own, but in Chinese they still have it within everyday language, if a non-specialised dictionary is any indication.
"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)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4213
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Shikantaza

Postby Astus » Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:13 pm

Jundo,

So much complication about sitting. Everybody in an office sits about 8 hours a day or more. That's why personally this idea that sitting has to be done in a ritual way, including a special posture, is not appealing as the central meaning of Zen. Sure, sitting in the right way has its benefits, that's why they use it everywhere in Buddhism and outside of it. For some reason Dogen's way of presenting simple sitting meditation is similar to Shinran's manipulation with the nenbutsu that is basically just reciting the name.

Daehaeng Sunim's approach is a lot more sensible to me:

"When some people first hear about letting go, it seems too ambiguous or difficult. They feel uncertain about what to do when they hear about letting go, because no method or detailed instruction is given. You may feel that you have to use sitting meditation in order to practice. However, your mind doesn't sit just because your body does. Meditation is done through mind, not through the body. You have to begin by taking care of problems through mind. You're doing things backward if you're trying to use your body to grasp your mind."
(No River to Cross, p. 54)
"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)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4213
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Shikantaza

Postby Matylda » Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:22 pm

Astus wrote:Matylda,

I don't know that much about kanjis to be able to comprehend it fully when the character is broken down to elements, but I have seen that kind of explanation, although not yet for shikantaza itself. As for the "taza", yes, it was a Buddhist dictionary that came up with a meaning on its own, but in Chinese they still have it within everyday language, if a non-specialised dictionary is any indication.


Thank you Astus, you have inspired me to search and read Chinese, and I did not do it for ages... so I looked at the Chinese sites...


Yeah, I checked up with regular Chinese dictionary and it has its contemporary usage in modern language. I wonder how did it change in comparison to the original meaning, since many old Chinese terms do not carry anymore their original meaning. Anyway in the particular environment of dharma language the meaning can be different from everyday spoken language.

so I looked up at some zen Chinese sites... it is interesting how they approach term ST... Though they lost ST practice in China and it survived only in Japan. XX century ST within Chinese buddhism is an import from Japan, plus they could search any surviving texts they could find. Since beginning of the Ming dynasty there was no ST in China... I heard once only about one master, but it was 15 or 20 years ago when one teacher told me, so actually I do not remember now the name of this Ming master...

well I looked at the Chinese Buddhist dictionary 《現代禪教團根本教典》, under shikan taza...

http://www.masterlee.url.tw/good/zentoo ... ok-047.htm

It is really funny, since among 54 quotations about ST, they started form analysis or rather interpretation of the 4 characters :) so Chinese might be doing same what Japanese teachers.

1. 知業報不失,不起有見,知諸法如幻,不起空見;只——管——打——坐。

But this part drew my attention:

打坐的時候,就只有「打坐」。雖然我們都知道:打坐可使意志堅韌,打坐可使身心脫落,明見本性。然而,一旦你上座之後,就必須坐斷空間、時間、正邪、佛魔、迷悟的觀念,通身上下唯剩丹田在動(或一片清明)而已。彼時倘若你心中忽爾現起「雜念」「妄想」的話,不用歡喜也不用討厭;這些都是不存在的,是你自己理會它們,故而它們復從過去來到現在。你何不再度從「零」出發呢?修念念分明或一念不生的人,一旦通過此一關卡,爾後自然不會再與雜念掙扎,也不會視雜念為仇敵。這在修定的次第上,是相當難得的善根相,自此也就可以踏上「只管打坐」的道路了。

And here 打坐 is used much in a zen sense, i.e. its more original meaning, not just as common endeavor. Anyway all 54 are more or less interesting. Unfortunately they do not quote exact sources.
Matylda
 
Posts: 343
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 3:32 pm

Re: Shikantaza

Postby jundo cohen » Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:39 pm

Astus wrote:Jundo,

So much complication about sitting. Everybody in an office sits about 8 hours a day or more. That's why personally this idea that sitting has to be done in a ritual way, including a special posture, is not appealing as the central meaning of Zen.


Hi Astus,

I assume that you are outside the Shikantaza tradition, or at least, don't sit Shikantaza the way some of us do. Thus, you may miss the point perhaps. In fact, I think so. Pardon me if mistaken.

In the way we encourage at Treeleaf, for example, there does not have to be a "special posture" ... and folks can sit in chairs, seiza and the like (any comfortable and balanced position), although Burmese and the Lotus Postures are encouraged. What is more, although we sit seated Zazen (and are sat by seated Zazen) each day ... "Zazen" in its boundless meaning is also walking, running, bouncing, reclining or flying through the air. All of life is Zazen when pierced as such.

No, what Taigen is getting at in that essay is that we sit Zazen as a sacred act, as a complete doing with nothing to add or take away, a Buddha's sitting Buddha, the one place to be and action to do in all time and space in that moment of sitting ... sitting just sits sitting. In fact, believe it or not, this is the very antithesis of adding "complication" to sitting ... but is all simplicity itself.

Gassho, Jundo
User avatar
jundo cohen
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:57 am

Re: Shikantaza

Postby Astus » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:13 pm

Jundo,

I follow you. But you're right, Dogen's style of teaching did not touch me. Keizan is closer to me, although I have read only one work from him. Beyond that, I think only Anzan Hoshin's way of instructing I like of those few I know from Japanese Soto Zen. Chinese Caodong is a different matter. But this is really a matter of style.
"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)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4213
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Shikantaza

Postby Matylda » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:01 pm

Astus wrote:Jundo,

I follow you. But you're right, Dogen's style of teaching did not touch me. Keizan is closer to me, although I have read only one work from him. Beyond that, I think only Anzan Hoshin's way of instructing I like of those few I know from Japanese Soto Zen. Chinese Caodong is a different matter. But this is really a matter of style.


Today Chinese caodong is almost same as linchi, they use koans. I did not meet even one Chinese caodong teacher following or teaching shikantza. I mean mainland Chinese monasteries, which I visited and which I have contact with. As far as I know in China about 10% of zen monks are caodong. And all monks of different lineages live together. They just use sometimes a bit different koans than linchi. I do not know how it is exactly in Taiwan, by I suppose that if they have any of shikan taza it is rather Japanese influence, since many Taiwanese monks or teachers did some study and practice in Japan in the 70s and 80s...

Beside Keizan there were many soto teachers teaching shikan taza in Kamakura and Muromachi period, but all of them used koans as well. Written teachings survived very well.

Anyway the Chinese link I gave is from Taiwan.
Matylda
 
Posts: 343
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 3:32 pm

Re: Shikantaza

Postby Astus » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:40 pm

By Chinese Caodong I meant the Song dynasty tradition. Ven. Shengyan reintroduced somewhat the practice of silent illumination in Taiwan, but it's modern as you said. Regarding practice with koans, just as you said, it was part of Japanese Soto too. As for distinguishing Linji and Caodong, it makes practically no difference in China, just as you can't make a difference between one monk and another by the practices they do. It seems to me that while sitting meditation is a common practice, reducing the whole teachings to that is quite another matter. It's like what Honen did with reducing everything to buddha-remembrance, something that never really happened anywhere else. It would appear that this kind of emphasis on a single method in Japan is a unique historical phenomenon, especially as they could survive to this day.
"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)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4213
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Shikantaza

Postby Matylda » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:31 pm

Astus wrote:By Chinese Caodong I meant the Song dynasty tradition. Ven. Shengyan reintroduced somewhat the practice of silent illumination in Taiwan, but it's modern as you said. Regarding practice with koans, just as you said, it was part of Japanese Soto too. As for distinguishing Linji and Caodong, it makes practically no difference in China, just as you can't make a difference between one monk and another by the practices they do. It seems to me that while sitting meditation is a common practice, reducing the whole teachings to that is quite another matter. It's like what Honen did with reducing everything to buddha-remembrance, something that never really happened anywhere else. It would appear that this kind of emphasis on a single method in Japan is a unique historical phenomenon, especially as they could survive to this day.


Yeah, that is so... However Honen and specially Shinran it was completely different matter... they were somehow conditioned or influenced by political and historical circumstances. Though today one can see their sole focus on nenbutsu, it was due to them, that Buddhism was broken out of the shell of exclusiveness of governing or privileged social strata. Strange as it may look now, it benefited the society at large to come to contact with dharma. Before Kamakura era Buddhism was only for privileged in Japan. For this reason Honen and to bigger extant Shinran provoked outspoken hatred from the establishment. Some of the Honen disciples were beheaded and Shinran narrowly escaped this fate. Zen was the another part of bitter resentment from the establishment. Being highly indifferent to the old religious and political establishment, was a threat to it. Dogen finally had to run away from Uji, were he had founded Koshoji, and the description of the event resounds almost the same adventure like HH Dalai Lama escaping Chinese invasion. This swift turnabout in the religious history was almost like a revolution in Japanese buddhism.

But Honen did not reject entirely other practices in his teachings, including mantra path etc. Just did not stress them and pointed exclusive method of nenbutsu. I found that there is a translation of Hongan nenbutsu by Honen in English published by BDK. Shinran seems to be much more radical.
Matylda
 
Posts: 343
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 3:32 pm

Re: Shikantaza

Postby jundo cohen » Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:08 am

Matylda wrote:
Today Chinese caodong is almost same as linchi, they use koans. I did not meet even one Chinese caodong teacher following or teaching shikantza. I mean mainland Chinese monasteries, which I visited and which I have contact with. As far as I know in China about 10% of zen monks are caodong. And all monks of different lineages live together. They just use sometimes a bit different koans than linchi. I do not know how it is exactly in Taiwan, by I suppose that if they have any of shikan taza it is rather Japanese influence, since many Taiwanese monks or teachers did some study and practice in Japan in the 70s and 80s...

Beside Keizan there were many soto teachers teaching shikan taza in Kamakura and Muromachi period, but all of them used koans as well. Written teachings survived very well.

Anyway the Chinese link I gave is from Taiwan.


Hi,

I would add Pure Land to the mix, and many other things from T'ien-t'ai to Taoist Practices to the kitchen sink. Rev. Huifeng might be able to better attest to that, as i am an outside to the traditions of Chinese Lineage monasteries. A pretty good recent book on how that came about is Jiang Wu's "Enlightenment in Dispute, the Reinvention of Chan Buddhism in Seventeenth Century China".

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0199895562/

a review ...

http://blogs.dickinson.edu/buddhistethi ... E-Chia.pdf

Also of interest is Morten Schlütter's "How Zen Became Zen: The Dispute Over Enlightenment and the Formation of Chan Buddhism in Song-Dynasty China" ...

http://www.amazon.com/How-Zen-Became-En ... became+zen

That's fine, Buddhism evolves and changes, and streams of Tradition come together and separate over time on their way to the sea.

Although opening another big can of worms, Koans have been vital to the Soto Tradition in Japan since the beginning. Dogen's Shobogenzo and other works are chock full, wall to wall citations riffing on the classic Koans. The only point to recall, however, is that different Zen teachers, including Japanese Soto teachers of later centuries, used (and non-used) the Koans in quite different (same but different) ways. All fine ways, I am sure.

The only question is HOW Dogen used the Koans, his particular style of playing them. For example, it is pretty clear that he did not want people to be focusing on a Koan or phrase from a Koan during Zazen (or anything or nothing during Zazen) ... and one was not to employ the Koans in the way of Tahui during Zazen. The historical or literary evidence to assert otherwise is pretty scant. However, of course, different Soto Practitioners these days will dispute that point, and that is fine. Many later Soto Masters in Japan certainly did (and do) go over to Practice Koan Introspection with their Rinzai brothers, and that is wonderful too.

Gassho, Jundo
User avatar
jundo cohen
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:57 am

Previous

Return to Zen

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Kim O'Hara and 11 guests

>