does shikantaza lead to equanimity and insight

does shikantaza lead to equanimity and insight

Postby omnifriend » Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:11 am

hi,
i am torn between wether or not i want to practice shikantaza or vipassana. is shikantaza a samatha meditation, or is it both samatha and insight meditation at the same time. thank you.
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Re: does shikantaza lead to equanimity and insight

Postby Indrajala » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:21 am

Dogen's idea was that it is the "dropping away" of mind and body. It might not qualify for the categories you're proposing.
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Re: does shikantaza lead to equanimity and insight

Postby Fa Dao » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:24 am

Perhaps it would be a good idea to research further into both before making your decision. Probably the best book on shikantaza out there is by a Chinese Chan/Zen master called Sheng Yen. The book is called "The Method of No Method: The Chan Practice of Silent Illumunation"
"But if you know how to observe yourself, you will discover your real nature, the primordial state, the state of Guruyoga, and then all will become clear because you will have discovered everything"-Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche
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Re: does shikantaza lead to equanimity and insight

Postby Astus » Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:54 am

Shikantaza is not a meditation practice as generally understood in Buddhism, it is not about developing concentration nor about gaining insight. It is being buddha. Practically, however, it takes time to reach the point where one can actually manage for even a short time doing just sitting, so there are preliminary practices taught in most communities, like counting and watching breath.

This teaching by Keizan is a good guide for Soto style zazen: Notes on What to be Aware of in Zazen
"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)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“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; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: does shikantaza lead to equanimity and insight

Postby Jinzang » Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:22 am

It depends on how you practice Shikantanza. Vipassanna meditation is misnamed, in my opinion, it actually is a form of shamatha. You can't practice insight meditation unless you have insight, something I think not too many people appreciate.
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Re: does shikantaza lead to equanimity and insight

Postby tomamundsen » Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:36 am

Fa Dao wrote:Perhaps it would be a good idea to research further into both before making your decision. Probably the best book on shikantaza out there is by a Chinese Chan/Zen master called Sheng Yen. The book is called "The Method of No Method: The Chan Practice of Silent Illumunation"

Well, Sheng Yen is Chan, not Zen, so it's not literally shikantaza. For shikantaza, many of my dharma brothers/sisters from the past and I have liked Uchiyama's Opening the Hand of Thought.

http://www.amazon.com/Opening-Hand-Thou ... 275&sr=8-1
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Re: does shikantaza lead to equanimity and insight

Postby tomamundsen » Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:38 am

A relevant quote from Dogen, straight outta Fukanzazengi, addressing a point some of the posters have made in this thread:


"The zazen I speak of is not learning meditation. It is simply the Dharma gate of repose and bliss, the practice-realization of totally culminated enlightenment. It is the manifestation of ultimate reality."
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Re: does shikantaza lead to equanimity and insight

Postby Wesley1982 » Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:12 am

I wouldn't know because I just got started on beginner's zazen.
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Re: does shikantaza lead to equanimity and insight

Postby ground » Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:13 am

omnifriend wrote:hi,
i am torn between wether or not i want to practice shikantaza or vipassana. is shikantaza a samatha meditation, or is it both samatha and insight meditation at the same time. thank you.

In the beginning it may be samatha then there may be the arising of vipassana and then it may be neither.
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Re: does shikantaza lead to equanimity and insight

Postby Fa Dao » Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:20 am

Tomamundsen,
Zen is Chan, came from Chan
Shikantaza is Zhiguandazuo or Mozhao
Where do you think Dogen learned all of this?
"But if you know how to observe yourself, you will discover your real nature, the primordial state, the state of Guruyoga, and then all will become clear because you will have discovered everything"-Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche
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Re: does shikantaza lead to equanimity and insight

Postby Old_Dan » Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:42 pm

thank you fa dao

dan
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Re: does shikantaza lead to equanimity and insight

Postby seeker242 » Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:57 pm

does shikantaza lead to equanimity and insight


Yes, it leads to both. However, that does not mean it's easy to do, especially as a beginning practice. Most teachers start people out with breath attention first as that is an easier practice to quite the "monkey mind".
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Re: does shikantaza lead to equanimity and insight

Postby tomamundsen » Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:57 pm

Fa Dao wrote:Tomamundsen,
Zen is Chan, came from Chan
Shikantaza is Zhiguandazuo or Mozhao
Where do you think Dogen learned all of this?

Hi Fa Dao,

Yes of course Zen is Chan. I will admit, I have never practiced under Sheng Yen or any of his disciples. The logic for my distinction between Chan and Zen comes from the opinions of one of my good dharma brothers. We studied Soto Zen together for a few years under the same teacher. He has since moved on to study with a Dharma Drum group (Sheng Yen), and I have moved on to Tibetan Nyingma. After studying with Dharma Drum for a couple years now, he has told me that he feels that Dogen did not transmit silent illumination properly. Paraphrasing his words, "the silent illumination tradition importantly employs shikantaza but in a much fuller context than Dogen."

I fear I am now quite :offtopic:
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Re: does shikantaza lead to equanimity and insight

Postby Jikan » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:03 pm

omnifriend wrote:hi,
i am torn between wether or not i want to practice shikantaza or vipassana. is shikantaza a samatha meditation, or is it both samatha and insight meditation at the same time. thank you.


Do you have practice groups (preferably with capable teachers) in both versions? if so, then try both and consider which group you prefer to practice with.
Need help getting on retreat? Want to support others in practice? Pay the Dana for Dharma forum a visit...

viewtopic.php?f=114&t=13727
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Re: does shikantaza lead to equanimity and insight

Postby Matt J » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:45 pm

Why not try them both and see which one "fits" better?
The Great Way is not difficult
If only there is no picking or choosing
--- Xin Xin Ming

http://nondualism.org/
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Re: does shikantaza lead to equanimity and insight

Postby tomamundsen » Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:54 am

^what the above two posters said
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Re: does shikantaza lead to equanimity and insight

Postby Old_Dan » Fri May 04, 2012 7:44 pm

omnifriend,

i began meditating doing zazen, studying zen and taoism. i later became enamored with theravada, because of its ancient buddhism flavor and its seemingly more straightforward meditation instructions. i got caught up in all of the intellectual arguments that set samatha and vipassana against each other, or if they were developed in tandem yada yada yada. i came to realize my attachment to concepts was the cause of my prefering this type of meditation and discussion. it is based on trying to fit words to what happens during meditation and this really is not possible.

so i am back to zazen, and i think i appreciate it more after my excursion into samatha and vipassan, and i have to say, i believe all buddhist teaching and meditation reaches its culmination in zazen. maintaining the posture strengthens mindfulness, creating m a situation where you have to maintain mindfulness of the body, all the while observing and letting go of whatever arises in the four frames of reference and the five sense doors. this being aware of whatever arises leads to insight while letting go leads to samatha.

so i feel that all of the arguments are solved and all requirements are met by just sitting. instead of trying to follow some method, which leads to thoughts of "am i doing this or that right", you just sit and let it all go.

peace
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Re: does shikantaza lead to equanimity and insight

Postby Samsaric_Spiral » Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:59 pm

I can't tell the difference between Shikantaza and Silent Illumination.

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