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"Just Sitting"

RichardHRichardH Veteran Veteran
edited February 2012 in Meditation
This is a poetic description of shikantaza or “Just sitting”. It can't be deconstructed, only suggested poetically, and practised in a leap. . This Zen Buddhist way ain't everyone's cup of tea, and it is no better or worse than any other. If this description rings a bell, it does. If it doesn't, it doesn't. Either way, no problem.


Shikantaza can to a certain extent be described as choiceless awareness. But that is just a pointer, because the teaching setting in which Shiknataza is practised, is non-gradual, and declares the innate self-resonant perfection “as such” of body, mind, and world. Yet, having established this view of “nothing to attain”, this view dropped in practice along with all view. So, in “Just Sitting”, there is no watching of thoughts and feelings arising and passing, no contemplation of impermanence, anatman, or Dukkha. There is no watching of any kind. There is “just sitting” as is, whole and complete, with no notion of it being whole and complete. There is no self, yet this no-self is forgotten, and the forgetting is forgotten. In forgetting forgetting, there is returning to ordinary just sitting, floor is floor, hands are hands, thoughts are thoughts, all ordinary, all “alone”, including ordinary self. Simple.

Descriptions of this "simple" using ontological absolutes are dead wrong here. Even using Skillful Means like "True Nature" are deeply fishy. But it is fair to describe it as cessation of Dukkha.








Hi mods sorry for no avatar. I'm too dumb to find an upload option on the dashboard.
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Comments

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    (Don't worry...just paint a little one on the screen where your posts go.....) :p
  • taiyakitaiyaki Veteran Veteran
    At first meditation is learning to reboot the system.
    Then you actually learn to reboot the system.
    Then you realize that everything is already in constant rebooting.

    I think it takes a certain being to just do sitting.

    That is the beauty of zen. It really just goes for the throat.

    It's the hardest practice, yet the easiest.

    Thanks for the deconstruction.
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran
    Hi mods sorry for no avatar. I'm too dumb to find an upload option on the dashboard.
    Lol, I thought it was some kind of zen koan about identity or something. :D
  • RichardHRichardH Veteran Veteran
    Hi mods sorry for no avatar. I'm too dumb to find an upload option on the dashboard.
    Lol, I thought it was some kind of zen koan about identity or something. :D
    No, just dumb, or maybe a dashboard issue.

  • RichardHRichardH Veteran Veteran
    At first meditation is learning to reboot the system.
    Then you actually learn to reboot the system.
    Then you realize that everything is already in constant rebooting.

    I think it takes a certain being to just do sitting.

    That is the beauty of zen. It really just goes for the throat.

    It's the hardest practice, yet the easiest.

    Thanks for the deconstruction.
    It took a long time, maybe about 18 years ( not a brag, but an embarrassing confession), before I could "Just Sit". It doesn't have to be like that, I was a hard case, with a strong mental grasping compulsion, and a strong habit of crystallizing practice after by reflecting and ruminating. Some people just jump into it and don't have to exhaust all that reaching first. R

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran Veteran
    Gassho, just thinking
  • RichardHRichardH Veteran Veteran
    Gassho. :)
  • Invincible_summerInvincible_summer Heavy Metal Dhamma We(s)t coast, Canada Veteran
    This is why I like Zen... "just sitting." Very simple and yet - to me - powerful.
  • edited February 2012
    shikantaza or “Just sitting”
    if the mind is wandering in all kinds of thinking, is this "just sitting"?
  • But it is fair to describe it as cessation of Dukkha.
    I beg to differ. With this rationalization being asleep at night is the cessation of dukkha, or being lobotomised is the cessation of dukkha, or being dead is the cessation of dukkha. Forgetting forgetting is not actually forgetting forgetting, it's just not remembering in a particular moment. Causes & conditioning will recall it, with a vengeance! :grr:
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran Veteran
    Ever hear of lucid dreaming? I've meditated in a dream before, a scary dream too! I didn't think whether I was using the right technique or not either, just sat and felt my breath I suppose??
  • RichardHRichardH Veteran Veteran
    But it is fair to describe it as cessation of Dukkha.
    I beg to differ. With this rationalization being asleep at night is the cessation of dukkha, or being lobotomised is the cessation of dukkha, or being dead is the cessation of dukkha. Forgetting forgetting is not actually forgetting forgetting, it's just not remembering in a particular moment. Causes & conditioning will recall it, with a vengeance! :grr:
    beg to differ then.

  • RichardHRichardH Veteran Veteran
    shikantaza or “Just sitting”
    if the mind is wandering in all kinds of thinking, is this "just sitting"?
    No. immediate physical presence... bum on zafu, ambient sounds, breathing (however it is), is not lost. Thoughts come and go and there are times when thoughts cease altogether.. But thought is not real in the same way, instead of being absorbed in thought, there is a basic groundedness, and thoughts are not compelling.

    That isn't to say it is like that all the time......

  • RichardHRichardH Veteran Veteran
    edited February 2012
    But it is fair to describe it as cessation of Dukkha.
    I beg to differ. With this rationalization being asleep at night is the cessation of dukkha, or being lobotomised is the cessation of dukkha, or being dead is the cessation of dukkha. Forgetting forgetting is not actually forgetting forgetting, it's just not remembering in a particular moment. Causes & conditioning will recall it, with a vengeance! :grr:
    Oh now i see what you mean...( I think) You are saying it is not the permanent cessation of Dukkha. That is certainly true. ...and that is another interesting discussion.


    Here is something that was said to me, when I spoke with a teacher about the seeming bottomlessness of suffering....
    Yes, it is bottomless, for you, for me, for all human beings. The First Truth is the truth of dukkha, and no matter how long we walk the path, dukkha still keeps coming up. However, the Four Truths are a process, and the awakened person (buddha) intimately knows this process and how to work it. Suffering arises; the cause of suffering is greed, hatred, and delusion; there is an end to suffering, which is letting go; the path that allows us to let go is the Eightfold Path.

    And then, we go back to the First Truth, suffering arises. This is a process that continues as long as we are alive as human beings.

    Also, the original three marks of existence are impermanence, suffering, and no self. If we exist, our existence consists of all three. Mahayana Buddhism adds a fourth: Nirvana is peace, and this means the cessation of greed, hatred, and delusion. And then, we are no longer at peace, for the three marks of existence are still in play: impermanence, suffering, and no self.

    This is human life, and it seems to me that you are living it. No matter what we do or how we live, there is a certain dissatisfaction with human life that never goes away. My master would distinguish between everyday suffering caused by greed, hatred, and delusion, and what he called "radical suffering," which underlies all our existence, which we feel as a general "ache" that sometimes we're in touch with and sometimes not, but it's always there, lurking, if you will.

    This suffering seems to me what you may been expressing , and I want to encourage you to accept it and live it. Sometimes, in the midst of such suffering, our deepest realizations occur

    Now...You or anyone else doesn't have to agree or accept this at all, but it is a Zen Buddhist way, one that I whole heartedly accept. There are other ways too. That's fine.


  • But it is fair to describe it as cessation of Dukkha.
    I beg to differ. With this rationalization being asleep at night is the cessation of dukkha, or being lobotomised is the cessation of dukkha, or being dead is the cessation of dukkha. Forgetting forgetting is not actually forgetting forgetting, it's just not remembering in a particular moment. Causes & conditioning will recall it, with a vengeance! :grr:
    Oh now i see what you mean...( I think) You are saying it is not the permanent cessation of Dukkha. That is certainly true. ...and that is another interesting discussion.


    Here is something that was said to me, when I spoke with a teacher about the seeming bottomlessness of suffering....
    Yes, it is bottomless, for you, for me, for all human beings. The First Truth is the truth of dukkha, and no matter how long we walk the path, dukkha still keeps coming up. However, the Four Truths are a process, and the awakened person (buddha) intimately knows this process and how to work it. Suffering arises; the cause of suffering is greed, hatred, and delusion; there is an end to suffering, which is letting go; the path that allows us to let go is the Eightfold Path.

    And then, we go back to the First Truth, suffering arises. This is a process that continues as long as we are alive as human beings.

    Also, the original three marks of existence are impermanence, suffering, and no self. If we exist, our existence consists of all three. Mahayana Buddhism adds a fourth: Nirvana is peace, and this means the cessation of greed, hatred, and delusion. And then, we are no longer at peace, for the three marks of existence are still in play: impermanence, suffering, and no self.

    This is human life, and it seems to me that you are living it. No matter what we do or how we live, there is a certain dissatisfaction with human life that never goes away. My master would distinguish between everyday suffering caused by greed, hatred, and delusion, and what he called "radical suffering," which underlies all our existence, which we feel as a general "ache" that sometimes we're in touch with and sometimes not, but it's always there, lurking, if you will.

    This suffering seems to me what you may been expressing , and I want to encourage you to accept it and live it. Sometimes, in the midst of such suffering, our deepest realizations occur

    Now...You or anyone else doesn't have to agree or accept this at all, but it is a Zen Buddhist way, one that I whole heartedly accept. There are other ways too. That's fine.


    I can totally accept what you believe. I was just pointing out that what you describe is not cessation of Dukkha.
  • RichardHRichardH Veteran Veteran
    So be it, Praxis. You have a different practice and understanding than the Zen Buddhist one presented on this thread. It is not an issue for me, unless you troll me. and you don't seem the type.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    But it is fair to describe it as cessation of Dukkha.
    I beg to differ. With this rationalization being asleep at night is the cessation of dukkha, or being lobotomised is the cessation of dukkha, or being dead is the cessation of dukkha. Forgetting forgetting is not actually forgetting forgetting, it's just not remembering in a particular moment. Causes & conditioning will recall it, with a vengeance! :grr:
    What about the space that exists after they are let go and before they are recalled again? Is there dukkha in that empty space in between? How could there be if the space is empty?

  • RichardHRichardH Veteran Veteran
    edited February 2012


    The great thing about this forum is that there are Theravadin, Zen, and Tibetan Buddhists, along with unaffiliated self-taught people, the drawback is also that there are
    Theravadin, Zen, and Tibetan Buddhist, along with unaffiliated self-taught people.

    So there can be the problem of someone in one tradition with one understanding saying another tradition has it wrong. I am just describing to the best of my ability how it is presented in one tradition. As I said, if it rings a bell fine, if not fine, but I reject outright any kind of "you got it wrong" talk from outside the tradition... I would not comment in that way to a Theravadin or Tibetan , who may have a very different conception of practice altogether.

    Any way,... for those who are interested, the post above on the bottomlessness of suffering was spoken by a Zen Master in a Soto lineage who I respect very much.


    Thanks.




  • The great thing about this forum is that there are Theravadin, Zen, and Tibetan Buddhists, along with unaffiliated self-taught people, the drawback is also that there are
    Theravadin, Zen, and Tibetan Buddhist, along with unaffiliated self-taught people.

    So there can be the problem of someone in one tradition with one understanding saying another tradition has it wrong. I am just describing to the best of my ability how it is presented in one tradition. As I said, if it rings a bell fine, if not fine, but I reject outright any kind of "you got it wrong" talk from outside the tradition... I would not comment in that way to a Theravadin or Tibetan , who may have a very different conception of practice altogether.

    Any way,... for those who are interested, the post above on the bottomlessness of suffering was spoken by a Zen Master in a Soto lineage who I respect very much.


    Thanks.


    It is merely the all-too-common case of making the meaning of something meet that man, rather than the man meeting the meaning.

    The facts of this matter are quite plain however. The cessation of Dukkha means that the causes for dukkha have been extinguished, so there is no continuation. What you and your friend are talking about is a pausing of dukkha, if that makes any sense, wherein the causes and conditioning for dukkha are very much intact.
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran Veteran
    edited February 2012
    http://thedailyenlightenment.com

    If how you perceive your experience
    motivates you to be more good or evil,
    it is correspondingly truly good or bad for you.

    - Stonepeace

    Not saying anyone is good or evil, I am just saying that probably people have realized fruits from various streams of Dharma.
  • RichardHRichardH Veteran Veteran
    edited February 2012
    Me and my friends? "The fact of this matter"

    ......ok.

    There is still this kind of thing going on here. ce la vie. Not the right venue.


  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran Veteran
    :( sorry we made you leave. I remember you from when you were here in the past. I like your writing.
  • RichardHRichardH Veteran Veteran
    edited February 2012
    :( sorry we made you leave. I remember you from when you were here in the past. I like your writing.
    Hi Jeffery, I like your writing too, and I haven't left. I just meant it isn't the right venue for discussion of Zen Buddhism.

    It's good to talk about general things. A forum for general Buddhist discussion is great for general discussion.

  • possibilitiespossibilities Veteran PNW, WA State Veteran
    In forgetting forgetting, there is returning to ordinary just sitting, floor is floor, hands are hands, thoughts are thoughts, all ordinary, all “alone”, including ordinary self. Simple.
    @RichardH I think this is the first time I understand what is suggested when some Zen followers here throw that "Just sit" at us :-) - meant to be encouraging, though it can be aggravating when it seems like a hollow phrase with a promise. Thanks for lifting some of the Zen veil.

  • possibilitiespossibilities Veteran PNW, WA State Veteran
    I just meant it isn't the right venue for discussion of Zen Buddhism.
    The way Zen has been presented here on the forum is very similar to your opening statement: "either you get it or you don't" which doesn't leave any space for discussions. So I guess it is what it is. I am happy to snatch up bits and pieces :-) .
  • RichardHRichardH Veteran Veteran
    I just meant it isn't the right venue for discussion of Zen Buddhism.
    The way Zen has been presented here on the forum is very similar to your opening statement: "either you get it or you don't" which doesn't leave any space for discussions. So I guess it is what it is. I am happy to snatch up bits and pieces :-) .
    Hi possibilities. There is plenty of space for discussion in Zen Buddhism, in fact a teacher said to me not long ago that people like Dogen "never shut up"... he was joking, but you get the point. The kind of discussion that I'm not interested in is having to defend the tradition from outside opinion, from someone who does not respect it, and who sees their own understanding as the objective measure of all Buddhism. That kind of chauvinistic sectarian attitude is best not engaged in my experience.
  • Me and my friends? "The fact of this matter"

    ......ok.

    There is still this kind of thing going on here. ce la vie. Not the right venue.


    Eh? If it matters, I wrote "friend" singular, referring to the teacher you mentioned. I can't fathom why referring to him/her as a friend would be offensive to you.

    And a fact is just a fact. No big deal.
  • I just meant it [this forum] isn't the right venue for discussion of Zen Buddhism.

    It's good to talk about general things. A forum for general Buddhist discussion is great for general discussion.

    You are suggesting that Zen is not Buddhism?
  • The kind of discussion that I'm not interested in is having to defend the tradition from outside opinion, from someone who does not respect it, and who sees their own understanding as the objective measure of all Buddhism. That kind of chauvinistic sectarian attitude is best not engaged in my experience.
    Do you characterize the whole forum in this way or are you thinking of someone specific?
  • DenkatsuDenkatsu Veteran Veteran
    Erm. lost you at human emotion tbh.. Thats very real.
  • DenkatsuDenkatsu Veteran Veteran
    No watching of thought? why not whats not to gain from it?
  • zenffzenff Veteran Veteran
    I suppose it’s very difficult to explain shikantaza or “just sitting”. But at the same time it really isn’t a complicated thing.
    I think your ( @RichardH ) attempt is fairly good. And you said the text is to be taken poetically, not as some dogmatic lecture on the subject. That’s an important note, I think.

    This is however not just about a meditation technique. The practice reflects what Liberation (or whatever you choose to name it) is looked upon in the tradition of Zen-Buddhism.
    Again it is very difficult to explain, yet not a complicated thing at all. So frustrating!
    When I try to say something sensible about my practice I always end up with something of a paradox; something weird. I sometimes use Vimalakirti’s statement: “don’t ask about the goal and benefit of practice. To be without goal and benefit is practice.”
    This is why shikantaza is just sitting. We’re not going anywhere else. We try to stop adding something extra to the experience of this moment.

    When I switched – at some point – from Zen practice to Theravada-practice; I always thought that the differences were very much just on the surface. The experience of it was very much the same. And I learned a lot from it.

    Switching tradition is usually discouraged I suppose; but I think it can teach us a very meaningful lesson. Our differences are just surface; just language. It’s just another finger pointing at the same old moon.
  • RichardHRichardH Veteran Veteran
    edited February 2012
    I suppose it’s very difficult to explain shikantaza or “just sitting”. But at the same time it really isn’t a complicated thing.
    I think your ( @RichardH ) attempt is fairly good. And you said the text is to be taken poetically, not as some dogmatic lecture on the subject. That’s an important note, I think.

    This is however not just about a meditation technique. The practice reflects what Liberation (or whatever you choose to name it) is looked upon in the tradition of Zen-Buddhism.
    Again it is very difficult to explain, yet not a complicated thing at all. So frustrating!
    When I try to say something sensible about my practice I always end up with something of a paradox; something weird. I sometimes use Vimalakirti’s statement: “don’t ask about the goal and benefit of practice. To be without goal and benefit is practice.”
    This is why shikantaza is just sitting. We’re not going anywhere else. We try to stop adding something extra to the experience of this moment.

    When I switched – at some point – from Zen practice to Theravada-practice; I always thought that the differences were very much just on the surface. The experience of it was very much the same. And I learned a lot from it.

    Switching tradition is usually discouraged I suppose; but I think it can teach us a very meaningful lesson. Our differences are just surface; just language. It’s just another finger pointing at the same old moon.
    That is an essential thing to penetrate in Zen ...there is nothing to do, yet there is something to do. This moment "as is" is perfectly so as-such, yet things must be done, and loose ends are tied forever. There is apparently no tidy one time realization around this, but an ever deepening one. I came from Theravada, and am still a participant and old friend in the local Lay Forest Sangha Group, but am mainly practicing in Zen (both Kwan Um and Soto). So if changing traditions is a bad Idea.. I'm bad in spades. What are the differences? ...I would have say very fundamental in some ways, yet if we just shut up and sit together, what difference can there be?


    :thumbup:
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran


    The great thing about this forum is that there are Theravadin, Zen, and Tibetan Buddhists, along with unaffiliated self-taught people, the drawback is also that there are
    Theravadin, Zen, and Tibetan Buddhist, along with unaffiliated self-taught people.

    So there can be the problem of someone in one tradition with one understanding saying another tradition has it wrong. I am just describing to the best of my ability how it is presented in one tradition. As I said, if it rings a bell fine, if not fine, but I reject outright any kind of "you got it wrong" talk from outside the tradition... I would not comment in that way to a Theravadin or Tibetan , who may have a very different conception of practice altogether.

    Any way,... for those who are interested, the post above on the bottomlessness of suffering was spoken by a Zen Master in a Soto lineage who I respect very much.


    Thanks.


    It is merely the all-too-common case of making the meaning of something meet that man, rather than the man meeting the meaning.

    The facts of this matter are quite plain however. The cessation of Dukkha means that the causes for dukkha have been extinguished, so there is no continuation. What you and your friend are talking about is a pausing of dukkha, if that makes any sense, wherein the causes and conditioning for dukkha are very much intact.
    Hi praxis, That is not what Zen tradition teaches. :) It teaches that nothing is intact but all of it is constantly passing away. The non-difference of Samsara and Nirvana is one of the distinguishing ideas of the Mahayana.

    "Nirvana is the absence of greed, hatred, and delusion. When these three poisons are extinguished, nirvana is experienced. Then, when either greed, hatred, or delusion come up, samsara is experienced. As the teaching has it, samsara and nirvana are not two. We experience our lives as either nirvana or samsara, depending on our state of mind at the moment."

    That is a standard zen teaching that all zen teachers teach for a thousand years.

    Zen Master Dogen’s, the founder of the Soto Tradition, account of Zazen as Shikantaza is that Zazen is conceived not as a means to an end but as a practice of the end itself. Cultivation (shu) is not different from authentication (sho), practice from Enlightenment. If we are practicing Shikantaza correctly, then we are practicing Enlightenment itself.

  • edited February 2012


    The great thing about this forum is that there are Theravadin, Zen, and Tibetan Buddhists, along with unaffiliated self-taught people, the drawback is also that there are
    Theravadin, Zen, and Tibetan Buddhist, along with unaffiliated self-taught people.

    So there can be the problem of someone in one tradition with one understanding saying another tradition has it wrong. I am just describing to the best of my ability how it is presented in one tradition. As I said, if it rings a bell fine, if not fine, but I reject outright any kind of "you got it wrong" talk from outside the tradition... I would not comment in that way to a Theravadin or Tibetan , who may have a very different conception of practice altogether.

    Any way,... for those who are interested, the post above on the bottomlessness of suffering was spoken by a Zen Master in a Soto lineage who I respect very much.


    Thanks.


    It is merely the all-too-common case of making the meaning of something meet that man, rather than the man meeting the meaning.

    The facts of this matter are quite plain however. The cessation of Dukkha means that the causes for dukkha have been extinguished, so there is no continuation. What you and your friend are talking about is a pausing of dukkha, if that makes any sense, wherein the causes and conditioning for dukkha are very much intact.
    Hi praxis, That is not what Zen tradition teaches. :) It teaches that nothing is intact but all of it is constantly passing away. The non-difference of Samsara and Nirvana is one of the distinguishing ideas of the Mahayana.
    No, our conditioning is not constantly passing away. People change because they want to change, and if they don't want to change then they don't. They can make the meaning of the words change, but not everyone is fooled by such dogma.
  • RichardHRichardH Veteran Veteran
    edited February 2012
    Praxis. If it settles you to feel that you are right and Zen Buddhism is wrong, that is fine. I for one am happy to be wrong. But if you can't back off for sake of civility, and have to attack common Zen Buddhism and denigrate it, that makes for a toxic board.

    So go ahead and be right, but just cool it. Go and sit.... because this is not fun, and the world will turn regardless.
  • possibilitiespossibilities Veteran PNW, WA State Veteran

    That is an essential thing to penetrate in Zen ...there is nothing to do, yet there is something to do. This moment "as is" is perfectly so as-such, yet things must be done, and loose ends are tied forever. There is apparently no tidy one time realization around this, but an ever deepening one.
    I wonder whether one could assume that by following the 4 Noble Truths and 8 Fold Path, one is per se on a spiritual/philosophical path that should not need any further instructions - one just needs to sit with that and possibly contemplate/deepen one's experience...?
  • possibilitiespossibilities Veteran PNW, WA State Veteran
    Praxis. because this is not fun, and the world will turn regardless.
    Richard, you swallowed the bait, though. Try to ignore, maybe.
  • RichardHRichardH Veteran Veteran
    edited February 2012

    That is an essential thing to penetrate in Zen ...there is nothing to do, yet there is something to do. This moment "as is" is perfectly so as-such, yet things must be done, and loose ends are tied forever. There is apparently no tidy one time realization around this, but an ever deepening one.
    I wonder whether one could assume that by following the 4 Noble Truths and 8 Fold Path, one is per se on a spiritual/philosophical path that should not need any further instructions - one just needs to sit with that and possibly contemplate/deepen one's experience...?
    That sounds like a safe assumption to me. IMHO. Who can say if there is one right way?
    Personally, I have benefited from teacher example and Sangha support in developing discipline on the cushion.. but ..different strokes.


    third time lucky :)
  • Praxis. If it settles you to feel that you are right and Zen Buddhism is wrong, that is fine. I for one am happy to be wrong. But if you can't back off for sake of civility, and have to attack common Zen Buddhism and denigrate it, that makes for a toxic board.

    So go ahead and be right, but just cool it. Go and sit.... because this is not fun, and the world will turn regardless.
    I never even remotely suggested that "Zen Buddhism" is wrong. Or are you saying that you are Zen Buddhism? How very strange...
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited February 2012


    I never even remotely suggested that "Zen Buddhism" is wrong. Or are you saying that you are Zen Buddhism? How very strange...
    It appears to me that you did!

    You said "No, our conditioning is not constantly passing away."

    Zen teaching says "Yes it does, people are in a constant state of change. Always changing from one second to the next."

    You just said Zen Buddhism is wrong! What people here are expressing, that you disagree with, is not their personal opinions. What is expressed here authentic zen teaching that has been taught in the zen tradition for centuries. You don't agree and that is fine. However, it comes across as disrespectful when you come out and say "No, that's just wrong!" If you want to disagree with Master Dogen Zenji, one of the most revered zen teachers of all time, that is fine! However, when you simply dismiss his teaching as foolish dogma, you can understand that this is not very nice to people who follow his teaching?
  • RichardHRichardH Veteran Veteran
    edited February 2012
    Hi seeker. I started this thread in good faith, and it was trolled into having to defend the legitimacy of Zen Buddhism. Admin sees the board, and action or inaction is the "tell". I would prefer not to drag this out.. because that is what will happen. Not a Zenny kind of place. ;) .. that's all. Lets let this thread drift down and disappear.
  • possibilitiespossibilities Veteran PNW, WA State Veteran
    @RichardH This happens a lot that someone starts a thread very innocently with just some well meant info and boom! It turns into an ugly mess. Even happened to a mod! At least he could shut it down at will.
    Don't let it deter you. It was a good post, and is much appreciated.
  • IronRabbitIronRabbit Veteran Veteran
    In Zen Buddhism the Middle Way describes the realization of being free of the one-sidedness of perspective that takes the extremes of any polarity as objective reality.

    @RichardH your reductionism of shikantaza as separate from other forms of sitting speaks of a fierce loyalty to a practice that contains tremendous meaning for you despite the inefficiency of our shared ontology. Could that be attachment? Perhaps - no matter. I think you are still a hard case, as you put it - but a welcome reflecting ruminator nonetheless.

    In Japan, vipassana and shamatha are sometimes used in addition to shikantaza as complementary practices.





  • I never even remotely suggested that "Zen Buddhism" is wrong. Or are you saying that you are Zen Buddhism? How very strange...
    It appears to me that you did!

    You said "No, our conditioning is not constantly passing away."

    Zen teaching says "Yes it does, people are in a constant state of change. Always changing from one second to the next."
    Relax Seeker, you're making a mountain out of a simple misunderstanding. I'm not denying impermanence. Perhaps a practical example will help to clarify the facts involved. It is a well known fact that Hakuyū Taizan Maezumi Roshi, a lineage holder in the Soto Zen, had a drinking problem. The conditions/conditioning of his alcoholism did not pass away during shikantaza practice. They were just not evident during that time.

    If it is "fair to describe it [shikantaza] as cessation of Dukkha" then it would also seem fait to describe sleeping and other states as the cessation of Dukkha. Is that how you see it?
    You just said Zen Buddhism is wrong! What people here are expressing, that you disagree with, is not their personal opinions. What is expressed here authentic zen teaching that has been taught in the zen tradition for centuries. You don't agree and that is fine. However, it comes across as disrespectful when you come out and say "No, that's just wrong!" If you want to disagree with Master Dogen Zenji, one of the most revered zen teachers of all time, that is fine! However, when you simply dismiss his teaching as foolish dogma, you can understand that this is not very nice to people who follow his teaching?
    You misunderstood me. I've not denied impermanence.
  • In Zen Buddhism the Middle Way describes the realization of being free of the one-sidedness of perspective that takes the extremes of any polarity as objective reality.
    Indeed.
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    Relax Seeker, you're making a mountain out of a simple misunderstanding. I'm not denying impermanence. Perhaps a practical example will help to clarify the facts involved. It is a well known fact that Hakuyū Taizan Maezumi Roshi, a lineage holder in the Soto Zen, had a drinking problem. The conditions/conditioning of his alcoholism did not pass away during shikantaza practice. They were just not evident during that time.
    I disagree. :)

    If it is "fair to describe it [shikantaza] as cessation of Dukkha" then it would also seem fait to describe sleeping and other states as the cessation of Dukkha. Is that how you see it?
    No, it is not fair to describe it like that because shikantaza does not equal simple unconsciousness. It means the passing away of greed, hate, ignorance.

    It means this:

    "Thinking that practice and enlightenment are not one is no more than a view that is outside the Way. In buddha-dharma [i.e. Buddhism], practice and enlightenment are one and the same."




  • Relax Seeker, you're making a mountain out of a simple misunderstanding. I'm not denying impermanence. Perhaps a practical example will help to clarify the facts involved. It is a well known fact that Hakuyū Taizan Maezumi Roshi, a lineage holder in the Soto Zen, had a drinking problem. The conditions/conditioning of his alcoholism did not pass away during shikantaza practice. They were just not evident during that time.
    I disagree. :)
    That is your prerogative. ;)

    If it is "fair to describe it [shikantaza] as cessation of Dukkha" then it would also seem fait to describe sleeping and other states as the cessation of Dukkha. Is that how you see it?
    No, it is not fair to describe it like that because shikantaza does not equal simple unconsciousness. It means the passing away of greed, hate, ignorance.
    Who told you that shikantaza means the passing away of greed, hate and ignorance? Shikantaza is no more than a method of meditation. If you want to give it various religious meanings that's your choice. We can also give religious meanings to sleeping...
    "Thinking that practice and enlightenment are not one is no more than a view that is outside the Way. In buddha-dharma [i.e. Buddhism], practice and enlightenment are one and the same."
    What does enlightenment mean to whoever said this???





  • You guys are funny.
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