Shikantaza

Shikantaza

Postby Frank » Mon May 14, 2012 6:53 pm

Can someone please explain Shikantaza meditation to me? I think i understand it and would like to read up on it but I would really appreciate some information from people I can actually talk to as opposed to just reading a book on it.
Frank
 
Posts: 125
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 7:21 am

Re: Shikantaza

Postby Astus » Mon May 14, 2012 8:54 pm

Quite simple. Don't grasp whatever occurs in the mind - the complete field of experience - but just let it come and let it go. Then you add to this all the formalities of a Soto Zen temple, if you want to.
"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: 4211
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Shikantaza

Postby Frank » Mon May 14, 2012 9:56 pm

Astus wrote:Quite simple. Don't grasp whatever occurs in the mind - the complete field of experience - but just let it come and let it go. Then you add to this all the formalities of a Soto Zen temple, if you want to.

Thanks thats pretty much what I thought. What about Dogen's mixed teachings on it? Analysis while in a thoughtless state? And does this technique fit anywhere in traditional jhana meditation or vipassana?
Frank
 
Posts: 125
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 7:21 am

Re: Shikantaza

Postby Astus » Mon May 14, 2012 10:21 pm

I don't know what mixed teachings of Dogen you refer to. Without thoughts how can you make an analysis?
Jhana is a Pali term used to denote some level of absorption, vipassana can have several meanings. Please specify.
"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: 4211
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Shikantaza

Postby ElephantsYeah » Mon May 14, 2012 11:58 pm

Of course it is really important to get personal instruction on this from a teacher you respect. Until then, I would recommend the book "Opening the Hand of Thought" by Kosho Uchiyama, a master in Dogen's lineage.

You might also check out these instructions from Shohaku Okumura, a student of Uchiyama, which can be found here: http://sanshinji.org/practice/

As to the analysis/jhana/dhyana/vipassana question. The "shi" and "kan" of "shikantaza" are not the "shi" and "kan" of shamatha-vipashyana, such as you might find in Zhiyi; this is one of Dogen's word-plays. Not that Zhiyi is not excellent and useful, because he most certainly is, but just to recognize that Dogen makes a point about this, which can be a source of confusion. In Dogen's Zen, you don't bother distinguishing between abiding and analysis. At least in my limited understanding...

I hope this is of some help...
ElephantsYeah
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 11:52 am

Re: Shikantaza

Postby Frank » Tue May 15, 2012 12:57 am

Astus wrote:I don't know what mixed teachings of Dogen you refer to. Without thoughts how can you make an analysis?
Jhana is a Pali term used to denote some level of absorption, vipassana can have several meanings. Please specify.

I know the jhanas forwards and backwards (on paper, not in practice. i'm no jhana master... maybe the first one once or twice, but that's probably all ;), i'm wondering which jhana, if any, shikantaza correlates with and whether or not practicing shikantaza will take one through all four and then through the further formless jhanas? Dogen taught both thoughtless shikantaza and taught to analyze the mind while in that state. It is a confusing topic. Vipissana is a term used with such great ambiguity that I don't even know where to begin.
Last edited by Frank on Tue May 15, 2012 1:12 am, edited 6 times in total.
Frank
 
Posts: 125
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 7:21 am

Re: Shikantaza

Postby Frank » Tue May 15, 2012 12:59 am

ElephantsYeah wrote:Of course it is really important to get personal instruction on this from a teacher you respect. Until then, I would recommend the book "Opening the Hand of Thought" by Kosho Uchiyama, a master in Dogen's lineage.

You might also check out these instructions from Shohaku Okumura, a student of Uchiyama, which can be found here: http://sanshinji.org/practice/

As to the analysis/jhana/dhyana/vipassana question. The "shi" and "kan" of "shikantaza" are not the "shi" and "kan" of shamatha-vipashyana, such as you might find in Zhiyi; this is one of Dogen's word-plays. Not that Zhiyi is not excellent and useful, because he most certainly is, but just to recognize that Dogen makes a point about this, which can be a source of confusion. In Dogen's Zen, you don't bother distinguishing between abiding and analysis. At least in my limited understanding...

I hope this is of some help...

Hey thanks a lot that's really helpful I'll look into those.
Frank
 
Posts: 125
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 7:21 am

Re: Shikantaza

Postby Astus » Tue May 15, 2012 10:35 am

Frank wrote:I know the jhanas forwards and backwards (on paper, not in practice. i'm no jhana master... maybe the first one once or twice, but that's probably all ;), i'm wondering which jhana, if any, shikantaza correlates with and whether or not practicing shikantaza will take one through all four and then through the further formless jhanas? Dogen taught both thoughtless shikantaza and taught to analyze the mind while in that state. It is a confusing topic. Vipissana is a term used with such great ambiguity that I don't even know where to begin.


Jhanas are from samatha practice, different stages of the calmness of the mind and gradually subtler points of focus. Whether one experiences any of the jhanas in zazen or not is mostly irrelevant. On the other hand, the actual meditation requires a calm state, therefore at least the first jhana, optimally the fourth jhana is similar to what one has.
As shikantaza is understood is mostly just sitting without attaching to any state. It doesn't mean that's the only possible practice.
"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: 4211
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Shikantaza

Postby mindyourmind » Tue May 15, 2012 11:04 am

ElephantsYeah wrote:Of course it is really important to get personal instruction on this from a teacher you respect. Until then, I would recommend the book "Opening the Hand of Thought" by Kosho Uchiyama, a master in Dogen's lineage.



What a book :applause: A real inspiration.
As bad as bad becomes its not a part of you

Talk Talk
User avatar
mindyourmind
 
Posts: 457
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 11:11 am
Location: South Africa

Re: Shikantaza

Postby Astus » Tue May 15, 2012 3:44 pm

Yaoshan’s Non-Thinking by Daido Roshi.

"Abide in neither thinking nor not thinking. Thinking is linear and sequential, a separation from the reality that is the subject of thought, and thus is an abstraction rather than the reality itself. Not thinking is suppressive. It cuts away thoughts the moment they arise, making the mind into a great impenetrable mountain—dead, unresponsive. Non-thinking has no such edges. It is the boundless mind of samadhi that neither holds on to, nor lets go of, thoughts. It is the manifestation of the buddha mind in which the dualism of self and other, thinking and not thinking, dissolve. This is the dharma of thusness that is the right thought of all the buddhas in the ten directions."
"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: 4211
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Shikantaza

Postby Frank » Tue May 15, 2012 4:44 pm

Astus wrote:
Frank wrote:I know the jhanas forwards and backwards (on paper, not in practice. i'm no jhana master... maybe the first one once or twice, but that's probably all ;), i'm wondering which jhana, if any, shikantaza correlates with and whether or not practicing shikantaza will take one through all four and then through the further formless jhanas? Dogen taught both thoughtless shikantaza and taught to analyze the mind while in that state. It is a confusing topic. Vipissana is a term used with such great ambiguity that I don't even know where to begin.


Jhanas are from samatha practice, different stages of the calmness of the mind and gradually subtler points of focus. Whether one experiences any of the jhanas in zazen or not is mostly irrelevant. On the other hand, the actual meditation requires a calm state, therefore at least the first jhana, optimally the fourth jhana is similar to what one has.
As shikantaza is understood is mostly just sitting without attaching to any state. It doesn't mean that's the only possible practice.

Interesting, could you explain why it's irrelevant? It seems like you either will go through them with said practice or not. For example walking meditation is not one that can get one into jhana since it is too active, but mindfulness of breathing can, and so on. So shikantaza either will lead one into jhana (whether it's called that or not), or it won't. Jhana is experienced by people of all different meditation practices, Buddhist and non-Buddhist whether they realize it or not, it's just a state the mind goes into at different levels of meditation. The Buddha's first two teachers were jhana masters and obviously they were not Buddhist and when you read descriptions of what mind states are achieved from many different kinds of meditations from many different spiritual practices you find great similarity, everyone calls them different things but it's all the same, just called jhana by the Buddha. Except of course the ones that do not lead the mind into jhana because they don't function that way, which is my question here on shikantaza. According to the sutras, the only thing unique to Buddhism is the four noble truths and other core doctrines. All the mind states (other than realization of the four noble truths, other core doctrines, and nirvana itself) are wide spread things that many people before and after the Buddha, discover independently and are used in many traditions. Or perhaps I'm confused and the term "shikantaza" is more ambiguous than I realize? I feel like you probably know more than me so I'm probably missing something. What am I not getting?
Last edited by Frank on Tue May 15, 2012 4:56 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Frank
 
Posts: 125
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 7:21 am

Re: Shikantaza

Postby Frank » Tue May 15, 2012 4:46 pm

Astus wrote:Yaoshan’s Non-Thinking by Daido Roshi.

"Abide in neither thinking nor not thinking. Thinking is linear and sequential, a separation from the reality that is the subject of thought, and thus is an abstraction rather than the reality itself. Not thinking is suppressive. It cuts away thoughts the moment they arise, making the mind into a great impenetrable mountain—dead, unresponsive. Non-thinking has no such edges. It is the boundless mind of samadhi that neither holds on to, nor lets go of, thoughts. It is the manifestation of the buddha mind in which the dualism of self and other, thinking and not thinking, dissolve. This is the dharma of thusness that is the right thought of all the buddhas in the ten directions."

Very helpful summary! Thank you! :good:
Frank
 
Posts: 125
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 7:21 am

Re: Shikantaza

Postby Astus » Tue May 15, 2012 5:11 pm

Frank wrote:Interesting, could you explain why it's irrelevant? It seems like you either will go through them with said practice or not.


So, I think it has been made clear already what kind of attitude shikantaza has. Samatha meditation is about focusing on one thing, and that develops jhana in the form realms. Not focusing on a solid thing but extending the view to infinity and beyond, one maintains the calmness of the fourth jhana. Shikantaza is not about focusing or extending one's mind, but not attaching to any phenomenon. Since that non-attachment results in a calm mind, it can be compared to the gradual cooling within samatha. Nevertheless, it is irrelevant because all these mental states just come and go, and the goal is not to make it some graspable state, but to learn to be aware without attachment.
"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: 4211
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Shikantaza

Postby Frank » Tue May 15, 2012 7:03 pm

Astus wrote:
Frank wrote:Interesting, could you explain why it's irrelevant? It seems like you either will go through them with said practice or not.


So, I think it has been made clear already what kind of attitude shikantaza has. Samatha meditation is about focusing on one thing, and that develops jhana in the form realms. Not focusing on a solid thing but extending the view to infinity and beyond, one maintains the calmness of the fourth jhana. Shikantaza is not about focusing or extending one's mind, but not attaching to any phenomenon. Since that non-attachment results in a calm mind, it can be compared to the gradual cooling within samatha. Nevertheless, it is irrelevant because all these mental states just come and go, and the goal is not to make it some graspable state, but to learn to be aware without attachment.


"...to be aware without attachment." very interesting! thank you! I think I kind of developed a version of this, I have practiced mindfulness of breathing for ages and then read Dogen's Fukan Zazengi and put that technique into practice after getting close to the first jhana. So I get really calm and near the first jhana by focusing on my breathing, then I drop my meditation object and just abide in calm awareness. Does that sound like shikantaza? I kind of feel like a beginner starting meditation for the first time and trying to go straight into shikantaza would be a joke. The "no method" method of shikantaza and instructions on accomplishing it make sense to people who have already practiced other methods of meditation but these instructions would have been nearly impossible to accomplish for me when I was just beginning. It seems like accomplishing a state that is difficult WITH a meditation object but without using one. Or at any rate, a state that would require some experience in dealing with the mind through meditation before one could then drop the meditation object and just do shikantaza.

The question now then I suppose is: where does shikantaza stand in the great scheme? Jhana meditation can (allegedly) lead to enlightenment when combined with insight. Where can shikantaza lead? Are there stages one goes through? Or is it just that pure awareness for as long as you can hold it?
Frank
 
Posts: 125
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 7:21 am

Re: Shikantaza

Postby Astus » Tue May 15, 2012 8:28 pm

Frank wrote:So I get really calm and near the first jhana by focusing on my breathing, then I drop my meditation object and just abide in calm awareness. Does that sound like shikantaza?


Not exactly. What you describe is more like samatha without object, or a more subtle object. Shikantaza is about not grasping any state, any thought, any feeling, no matter what comes up.

Frank wrote:The question now then I suppose is: where does shikantaza stand in the great scheme? Jhana meditation can (allegedly) lead to enlightenment when combined with insight. Where can shikantaza lead? Are there stages one goes through? Or is it just that pure awareness for as long as you can hold it?


Shikantaza has no stages, it is not something to develop, maintain or master. That's why it is called practice-realisation, it is buddhahood itself. If you want to put it into a scheme, check out Zhiyi's "The Six Dharma Gates to the Sublime", where in the first chapter under the first gate the different jhanas (hinayana dhyana) are covered, while Shikantaza is the perfect contemplation in chapter 9. I recommend you read the whole treatise to get a full picture. Also, "The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation" by Zhiyi is another important work that can greatly help understanding the position of Zen. As you may notice, Zhiyi was the founder of the Tiantai school before the emergence of Chan. However, you won't really find such detailed meditation manuals in Zen, and monks have relied on Tiantai instructions everywhere.
"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: 4211
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Shikantaza

Postby Frank » Tue May 15, 2012 10:13 pm

Astus, thanks much. Sounds like I need to do some reading. Thank you for all your patience and helpfulness. :anjali:
Frank
 
Posts: 125
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 7:21 am

Re: Shikantaza

Postby Matylda » Tue May 15, 2012 11:50 pm

Astus wrote:Quite simple. Don't grasp whatever occurs in the mind - the complete field of experience - but just let it come and let it go. Then you add to this all the formalities of a Soto Zen temple, if you want to.


In ''let it come and let it go'' is a danger of observing, which is not shikan taza. It can turn into just idle sitting, after all. ST is powerful position of direct entering into enlightenment in one leap so to say. For this one needs clear guidance of deeply realized person. Since it is most simple, has deepest dangers of wrong ideas. ''Direct'' and ''entering'' are both misleading as well, since it is beyond any conditions or extremes, if one uses conventional language. So it may be the point which is difficult for the mind habituated by conditions, including ''let it'' and so on.
The other very difficult point would be no-thinking etc. because it has nothing to do with thinking as we think about thinking and no-thinking as two extremes... it is free from that. But here is point for the ''mouth transmission'' or KUDEN - key instructions, [but they are not written, however one is allowed to make notes] of one's own master who should have great skills.

There is more to it. On extraordinary level of preparation one is required to manifest genuine bodhicitta as taught by Tendo Nyojo and Dogen, who followed Nagarjuna teaching in this respect (motivation) and powerful amount of faith or confidence (goal), which for ordinary individuals is obscured basically by karmic obscurations or habits... In this case then it comes down to important rituals, maybe those are ''soto formalities'' which include very basic and regular practice of purification there are 3 of them, and important part for the initiated into this way is the blessing of the personal lineage which is practiced by oneself, or individually. Not in the group. Again at that point one should rely on KUDEN for purification, they are different levels of understanding and blessing, which is most intimate.

Some points, but not all, one can find in Dogen's GAKUDO YOJIN SHU, and its important commentaries. As for commentaries I am afraid there are none in English or any Western language. The original text of Dogen is translated by someone I guess.
Matylda
 
Posts: 343
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 3:32 pm

Re: Shikantaza

Postby Frank » Wed May 16, 2012 1:53 am

Matylda wrote:
Astus wrote:Quite simple. Don't grasp whatever occurs in the mind - the complete field of experience - but just let it come and let it go. Then you add to this all the formalities of a Soto Zen temple, if you want to.


In ''let it come and let it go'' is a danger of observing, which is not shikan taza. It can turn into just idle sitting, after all. ST is powerful position of direct entering into enlightenment in one leap so to say. For this one needs clear guidance of deeply realized person. Since it is most simple, has deepest dangers of wrong ideas. ''Direct'' and ''entering'' are both misleading as well, since it is beyond any conditions or extremes, if one uses conventional language. So it may be the point which is difficult for the mind habituated by conditions, including ''let it'' and so on.
The other very difficult point would be no-thinking etc. because it has nothing to do with thinking as we think about thinking and no-thinking as two extremes... it is free from that. But here is point for the ''mouth transmission'' or KUDEN - key instructions, [but they are not written, however one is allowed to make notes] of one's own master who should have great skills.

There is more to it. On extraordinary level of preparation one is required to manifest genuine bodhicitta as taught by Tendo Nyojo and Dogen, who followed Nagarjuna teaching in this respect (motivation) and powerful amount of faith or confidence (goal), which for ordinary individuals is obscured basically by karmic obscurations or habits... In this case then it comes down to important rituals, maybe those are ''soto formalities'' which include very basic and regular practice of purification there are 3 of them, and important part for the initiated into this way is the blessing of the personal lineage which is practiced by oneself, or individually. Not in the group. Again at that point one should rely on KUDEN for purification, they are different levels of understanding and blessing, which is most intimate.

Some points, but not all, one can find in Dogen's GAKUDO YOJIN SHU, and its important commentaries. As for commentaries I am afraid there are none in English or any Western language. The original text of Dogen is translated by someone I guess.

So basically it's beyond any explanation? It sounds like it's the mind state of a Buddha which is not something that one could know without being a Buddha and so logically, yes, beyond understanding. But then how does anyone learn this? A teacher must be able to verbally describe it for their student and anything that can be expressed verbally can be written, so if you understand could you elaborate a little please?
Frank
 
Posts: 125
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 7:21 am

Re: Shikantaza

Postby Matylda » Wed May 16, 2012 7:49 am

Frank wrote:
Matylda wrote:
Astus wrote:Quite simple. Don't grasp whatever occurs in the mind - the complete field of experience - but just let it come and let it go. Then you add to this all the formalities of a Soto Zen temple, if you want to.


In ''let it come and let it go'' is a danger of observing, which is not shikan taza. It can turn into just idle sitting, after all. ST is powerful position of direct entering into enlightenment in one leap so to say. For this one needs clear guidance of deeply realized person. Since it is most simple, has deepest dangers of wrong ideas. ''Direct'' and ''entering'' are both misleading as well, since it is beyond any conditions or extremes, if one uses conventional language. So it may be the point which is difficult for the mind habituated by conditions, including ''let it'' and so on.
The other very difficult point would be no-thinking etc. because it has nothing to do with thinking as we think about thinking and no-thinking as two extremes... it is free from that. But here is point for the ''mouth transmission'' or KUDEN - key instructions, [but they are not written, however one is allowed to make notes] of one's own master who should have great skills.

There is more to it. On extraordinary level of preparation one is required to manifest genuine bodhicitta as taught by Tendo Nyojo and Dogen, who followed Nagarjuna teaching in this respect (motivation) and powerful amount of faith or confidence (goal), which for ordinary individuals is obscured basically by karmic obscurations or habits... In this case then it comes down to important rituals, maybe those are ''soto formalities'' which include very basic and regular practice of purification there are 3 of them, and important part for the initiated into this way is the blessing of the personal lineage which is practiced by oneself, or individually. Not in the group. Again at that point one should rely on KUDEN for purification, they are different levels of understanding and blessing, which is most intimate.

Some points, but not all, one can find in Dogen's GAKUDO YOJIN SHU, and its important commentaries. As for commentaries I am afraid there are none in English or any Western language. The original text of Dogen is translated by someone I guess.

So basically it's beyond any explanation? It sounds like it's the mind state of a Buddha which is not something that one could know without being a Buddha and so logically, yes, beyond understanding. But then how does anyone learn this? A teacher must be able to verbally describe it for their student and anything that can be expressed verbally can be written, so if you understand could you elaborate a little please?


Shikan taza is in a way beyond explanation if one wish to get into core of it, and as you say it is perfect state of buddhahood. However there are some explanations to it. One may find them in some writtings of Dogen, but they are subsummed in SHUSHOGI and also put very simply in FUKAN ZAZENGI. There are ways of verbal support. If one would like to learn it then of course one can learn from the teacher. On the quality of teacher depends practice and realization of disciple. Then we can understand importance of the teacher, it cannot be just anyone. By the way, master should be able to manifest this state beyond comprehension... verbally or bodily, there is nothing fixed here. He can even quote village song. The means are numberless. Any method could be powerful, but they are used according to so called JI SHO I, which means proper time, proper place and proper circumstances. But this is still on conditional level.

There is one more thing to it. As I said there are ways of support. They are perfect for ordinary people, since the accumulation of karma is rather enormous and they help to deal with this and to change the mind set. But for extremely talented or sharp disciples there is also an extreme way of shikan taza alone. But then the master should be how to say a buddha, and disciple must have at least clear maturation of selflessness, or bodhicitta. This is most difficult way... I met very few masters who encouraged only this way, but ... they had no disciples :) really. And they even did not expect one. On such way one stays with teacher for life, day by day, and also is not allowed to go beyond ST even for a second. It is like in furnace, and one can go crazy, if not fit to do it. Anyway the master is all the time present...
Matylda
 
Posts: 343
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 3:32 pm

Re: Shikantaza

Postby Astus » Wed May 16, 2012 10:10 am

Matylda,

Where is shikantaza taught the way you talk about? Is it a specific teacher, temple or lineage of Soto Zen? Or more of a philosophical branch?
There were clear instructions quoted and referred to here, and there are many more available. For instance, from the Soto church's official website:

"Do not concentrate on any particular object or control your thought. When you maintain a proper posture and your breathing settles down, your mind will naturally become tranquil.
When various thoughts arise in your mind, do not become caught up by them or struggle with them; neither pursue nor try to escape from them. 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."


Before and after this it gives all the ritual and physical acts one should be aware of, pictures included. What else could be there to it? Gives the same insturctions one finds everywhere. That's why I ask where all those other extras you mention come from.
"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: 4211
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Next

Return to Zen

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Alex123 and 12 guests

>