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Zazen

misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a HinduIndia Veteran

Hi All,
How are you? Does anyone here sit in zazen - by zazen, I mean Dogen's Shikantaza zazen meditation? If yes, then can you please tell that after the body sits in zazen meditation posture, what we need to do next - means do we need to observe something or we should not do anything? If we do not do anything after sitting in the zazen sitting body posture, then how does zazen work - means how does it lead us to realize our true self? Please suggest. Thanks.

Comments

  • I’m not surprised there haven’t been many answers to this. It’s not very clear, is it? I attended a Zen group recently but encountered this problem, and I ended up not returning.

    @Shoshin, that’s all very well and good, but how do you approach doing nothing but sitting? Do you make any attempt to focus the mind? If not, what do you do when the mind wanders?

    Moreover, how does shikantaza help you to unravel afflictive mental states and habitual patterns? In Vipassana, the meditator applies awareness to these things and holds them in compassion. Other traditions have similar methods to work through such problems. What does shikantaza offer?

  • techietechie India Veteran

    @adamcrossley said:
    I’m not surprised there haven’t been many answers to this. It’s not very clear, is it? I attended a Zen group recently but encountered this problem, and I ended up not returning.

    @Shoshin, that’s all very well and good, but how do you approach doing nothing but sitting? Do you make any attempt to focus the mind? If not, what do you do when the mind wanders?

    Moreover, how does shikantaza help you to unravel afflictive mental states and habitual patterns? In Vipassana, the meditator applies awareness to these things and holds them in compassion. Other traditions have similar methods to work through such problems. What does shikantaza offer?

    Zen is NOT for the faint-hearted, as I am beginning to realise. Sitting down and doing nothing IS the practice - as it allows your mind no escape. All that you repressed or subdued will come to the surface and you'll have to face them. Not an easy task.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Zen people tend to be quite sturdy, it is a path that seems to suit those who are not too much in their heads.

    I had a look through past forum discussions about zazen, and the search function doesn’t bring that much forward. As I understand it from books like “Zen Mind, Beginners Mind” the idea of zazen is that the sitting pose is the message, that in the end you start to identify the pose with the meditation, and as soon as you take the pose the meditation comes over you.

    I quite enjoyed this old thread about Zen...

    http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/comment/475240#Comment_475240

    lobsterperson
  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    edited March 5

    So it comes down to first breath observation and second developing some concentration with breath observation and then third doing - just sitting and doing nothing? But if this was the case, then why did Dogen did not highlighted these steps of breath observation and developing concentration in Shikantaza's instructions in his Fukanzazengi text at https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://sanfranciscozencenter.blob.core.windows.net/assets/21_Fukanzazengi.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwi5tNzD_ungAhVbQH0KHW-xDNUQFjAAegQIBRAB&usg=AOvVaw2xYgV7I-PTVxWlqmCL3L_u ? Any ideas here please. Thanks.

    Shoshin
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    my fake zen tidbit.

    soft zen:sit or walk , be the middle space of ing,known as be-ing.see and not see,hear and not hear,etc...to the sense media.

    gradual zen: not there yet.ease of the natural state 24\7....is posited theory.exquisite quiettude and thats cool dude

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    simply being passive and active in being. in sitting,in zen tradition--speculating--passive absorbtion.likewhize,in theravada tradition,it can be intense absorbtion,if you want it to be.both approach is to ex-perience calm bliss of the zen vernacular void or in thera,empty.in thera buddha says --to the effect --don't be attach to bliss--jahna--there's living....sit and walk.hense,passive and active in being.,,,imo.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    cleaver rhyme:empty can be a rest in the nest.emptiness.

    being chatty,lit brain.....not sure if woke?millenial vernacular....

  • ZenSamZenSam ZenJew Explorer

    If you mind wanders, let it wander. "Bringing you focus back" kinda defeats the point. Dont ya think? When your mind wanders, dont focus on it, but dont bring it back, it will go away on its own.

    paulysoShoshin
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    zensam,how long have you been a zenist.my fake zen is being worked out through landscaping.i try to make my zen practical.

  • ZenSamZenSam ZenJew Explorer

    @paulyso ive been one for about 4-5 years, ive only been really serious about it for 2. Ive been practicing other similar stuff for all my life.

  • ZenSamZenSam ZenJew Explorer

    @paulyso also there is no such thing as fake-zen, there is zen, and there is not-zen. It seems like your fake-zen is real-zen.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    @ZenSam said:
    @paulyso also there is no such thing as fake-zen, there is zen, and there is not-zen. It seems like your fake-zen is real-zen.

    my fake zen technically means i don't have a teacher. nevertheless, i enjoy what other zenist can teach me.

  • ZenSamZenSam ZenJew Explorer

    @paulyso it does not matter if you have a teacher. I never had a formal teacher, ive learned from books , other people, and un-formal teachers.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited March 6

    @ZenSam said:
    If you mind wanders, let it wander. "Bringing you focus back" kinda defeats the point. Dont ya think? When your mind wanders, dont focus on it, but dont bring it back,it will go away on its own.

    Nice to meet you @ZenSam :)

    Hmm where to ?

    There's nowhere for the mind to go, the mind is where it's always been...However it's the thoughts AKA monkey chatter (which more often than not charm the 'untrained' mind) this monkey chatter will wander all over the place, as in, taking one (this sense of self ) back into past events or anxieties regarding the possible what ifs of the future...

    After developing the ( I guess one would call beneficial) habit of returning to the breath (breath which btw is what anchors the thoughts which if left to their own devices will run rampant in the untrained mind)...After awhile this anchoring habit will dissolve of it own accord when the mind becomes calm and concentrated...

    Then let the games (of awareness/knowing) begin...phenomena arise and depart...

    Where only knowing knows but does not care, for it does not need a self to be aware :)

    Hsin Hsin (Faith in Mind)

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    @ZenSam said:
    @paulyso it does not matter if you have a teacher. I never had a formal teacher, ive learned from books , other people, and un-formal teachers.

    thank you for that kind and supportive word.

  • ZenSamZenSam ZenJew Explorer
    edited March 18

    @Shoshin it's a little hard to explain, redirect your mind, but not your thoughts Is a way of putting it. Don't try to bring that thought back, simply continue focusing on your breath, it WILL go away. =)

    Shoshin
  • What a useful thread! Thanks everyone for this.

    I feel some inclination to try Zazen/Shikantaza and do so from time to time, but it usually scares me away. My comfort zone is in long, guided meditations. Without a little guidance, I tend to become anxious that I’m meditating badly (read: abysmally :p ).

    One step towards Shikantaza has been in guiding my own meditations, which I do every few days. But doing this, I still rely on a focus, usually the breath.

    Is it advisable to work towards less and less guidance, less and less directed effort? Should I be worried about my attachment to guided meditations?

    Shoshin
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Should I be worried about my attachment to guided meditations?

    No.
    Guided meditations are right concentration and the changes will create confidence in the path.

    Shikantaza is awareness without object. Formal attentive awareness. It can be very perplexing to hear that 'not changing' is a form of change. It may be too subtle for the moment ...

    ... Or you might like a little shikantaza guidance ...
    https://www.treeleaf.org

    Shoshin
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @ZenSam said:
    @Shoshin it's a loughs hard to explain, redirect your mind, but not your thoughts Is a way of putting it. Don't try to bring that thought back, simply continue focusing on your breath, it WILL go away. =)

    @ZenSam

    When one focuses on the breath one is not trying to bring the thought back, that particular thought pattern dissolves, because the focus is now on the breath...Anchoring the thoughts just means not allowing a thought pattern to take hold and dominate the mind...

    All a thought wants is to be acknowledge then it will pass away, however if the mind is not trained in the art of concentration & awareness which involves using the breath as an anchor one is less likely to become aware that their thoughts are taking them on a ride...in other words, one is more likely to become charmed by the thought pattern which is our "habitual conditioning" ...Focusing on the breath breaks the habit so to speak....

    lobster
  • ZenSamZenSam ZenJew Explorer

    @Shoshin we basically agree.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @ZenSam said:
    @Shoshin we basically agree.

    Except that you use totally different wording O.o

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    I have found that when discussing certain aspects of the Dharma (Zen in particular ) words have a particularly bad habit of getting in the way of the truth,,,,They can't quite pin the truth down, they can only (if one is lucky) point out the direction....

    adamcrossleyZenSam
  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    edited March 17

    Today while I was watching youtube videos, then in suggestions, a link came for below video, which I then watched and I found the below video insightful, so sharing the below youtube video with you all:

    Shoshin
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Well @misecmisc1 what are you going to do with this newfound knowledge .....Just sit on it ?

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