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questions about satori and shikantaza

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questions about satori and shikantaza

Postby kal on Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:44 pm

hi i dont know if my issue is in the right place here, but im a beginner to shikantaza.
at least i've got two questions, i hope someone may calm me down a bit.
first of all, i do shikantaza for a while now, quite every day. my understanding of it is to sit in the right posture and do breathing to the hara.. so far so good. thoughts arise and i am watching them without following nor judging, like clouds in the sky. its like an cut-off when im aware of these toughts, so i drop 'em off and come back to the present moment. is this correct?
many people talk about having satori while doing zazen, i had these experiences as well, even while shikantaza, but most of the time its like being aware of that monkey mind, without experiencing that blissful moments of inner peace and joy, that satori. so i put my timer on 20-25 minutes and sit, become aware of that thoughts running through the head, beep beep timer is quitting that session after a while.
my problem is that i am longing for satori again, its like a greed i know, and i know that are just thoughts which are seeking for it and judging this moment as not good enough. i know, because of the past satori i had, that i am just the conciousness that is aware of everything, every experience, every appearance. and satori is another appearing state of bliss, not my real self, nor any other state like longing or monkey mind is.. but search or longing for bliss comes again and again.
its quite paradox to ask, but what can "i" do? or how do you deal with that in your experience? i think the best way to deal is to accept this longing and try to come back out of mind to here and now, while focussing the breath or body sensations in daily life.
what do you think about my issue?
thank you,
kal
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Re: questions about satori and shikantaza

Postby Caodemarte on Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:30 pm

Please be peaceful and calm! :p:

I hope that one of the qualified teachers here will give you some specific advice, but as a fellow practioner I would urge you to also visit a zen center near you to get in-person advice on how to practice zazen correctly. You may also wish to look at some good introductory books. Good luck with your practice!
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Re: questions about satori and shikantaza

Postby kal on Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:47 pm

Thank you for your fast reply, caodemarte

its quite difficult to visit some center, there is nothing in the near located.
I`ve read some books about shikantaza, e.g.taizen deshimaru zazen book or suzukis zen mind - beginners mind. dogens shobogenzo gives some introduction to the technique as well. i think its more a issue of too much thinking about.
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Re: questions about satori and shikantaza

Postby fukasetsu on Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:06 pm

Kal, whether your practise is correct or what your experience is, I leave that for the official teachers.

Indeed we ironically get stuck in a loophole of own narrative, which is ironic since what you 'learn' in zazen should be applied in everyday life, what happens on the cushion is not so interesting.
May I ask what your daily life looks like?
I mean are you still experiencing the same vexations in daily life regardless of your experiences on the cushion?

For instance I once drove a car with someone who claimed to have all sort of spiritual attainments, yet in everyday situations like being cut in traffic or experiencing a red light it showed that his meditation didn't integrate into daily life.
So his satoris and whatever was pretty useless as far as I could see.
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Re: questions about satori and shikantaza

Postby kal on Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:16 pm

hi fukasetsu,
i try to integrate mindfulness into my daily life, its not split into "zazen / daily life". so i practise to be here and now while i am walking, washing my hands, eating,..whatsoever, coming back herenow when i realise, that im drifting away into thoughts. i use anchor like breath or my feeling my toe too.
sometimes there seem so many thoughts, that theres no clarity, but i know the one who whishes less thoughts is a thought as well.
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Re: questions about satori and shikantaza

Postby fukasetsu on Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:26 pm

Sounds good Kal,

yes indeed, emptying the mind makes it no clearer :heya:

But what you describe I have "suffered" from many time throughout many years,
what helped me a lot is the practise of non-dwelling, which I was introduced to by a friend in the dharma.

It sounds like overthinking indeed, I just stopped meditating for a year and I was "fine" again.
Which is no advice, again these days I refrain from commenting one one's techniques and experiences,
especially since we have so many skilled teachers on the forum.
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Re: questions about satori and shikantaza

Postby jundo on Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:32 pm

kal wrote:hi i dont know if my issue is in the right place here, but im a beginner to shikantaza.
at least i've got two questions, i hope someone may calm me down a bit.
first of all, i do shikantaza for a while now, quite every day. my understanding of it is to sit in the right posture and do breathing to the hara.. so far so good. thoughts arise and i am watching them without following nor judging, like clouds in the sky. its like an cut-off when im aware of these toughts, so i drop 'em off and come back to the present moment. is this correct?


Hi Kai,

I believe you are sitting correctly. Find a comfortable, balanced, stable posture (Lotus, or if not physically possible, an alternative). Do not grab onto the thoughts and, if caught in thoughts, let them go and return to the breath, posture or (eventually) open awareness.

I would simply add that you should sit dropping judgments, as if sitting is the one place to be and one act to do in that moment in the whole universe with nothing lacking. It is truly Goalless, in the sense that simply sitting is the fulfillment of all goals while sitting. Here is an essay I wrote to explain why this is the real power of Zazen, often left out by some teachers. See if it makes sense.
Shikantaza Zazen must be sat, for the time it is sat, with the student profoundly trusting deep in her bones that sitting itself is a complete and sacred act, the one and only action that need be done in the whole universe in that instant of sitting. This truth should not be thought about or voiced in so many words, but must be silently and subtly felt deep down. The student must taste vibrantly that the mere act of sitting Zazen, in that moment, is whole and thoroughly complete, the total fruition of life’s goals, with nothing lacking and nothing to be added to the bare fact of sitting here and now. There must be a sense that the single performance of crossing the legs (or sitting in some other balanced posture) is the realization of all that was ever sought, that there is simply no other place to go in the world nor thing left to do besides sitting in such posture. ... Zazen is the one task and experience that brings meaning and fruition to that time, with nothing else to do. This fulfillment in “Just Sitting” must be felt with a tangible vibrancy and energy, trusting that one is sitting at the very pinnacle of life. ...

The ability to be at rest completely, to realize the preciousness and wholeness of life in this moment is a skill we have lost in this busy world. We chase after achievements, are overwhelmed with jobs that feel undone, and feel that there are endless places to go and people to see. The world can seem a broken and hopeless place. Thus, it is vital that we learn to sit each day with no other place in need of going, no feeling of brokenness nor judgment of lack, nothing more in need of achieving in that time but sitting itself. We sit with the sense that there is nothing to fix or place in need of getting, because this “not needing” is a wisdom that we so rarely taste.

viewtopic.php?p=186994#p186994


As to Satori and Shikantaza ...

many people talk about having satori while doing zazen, i had these experiences as well, even while shikantaza, but most of the time its like being aware of that monkey mind, without experiencing that blissful moments of inner peace and joy, that satori. so i put my timer on 20-25 minutes and sit, become aware of that thoughts running through the head, beep beep timer is quitting that session after a while.
my problem is that i am longing for satori again, its like a greed i know, and i know that are just thoughts which are seeking for it and judging this moment as not good enough. i know, because of the past satori i had, that i am just the conciousness that is aware of everything, every experience, every appearance. and satori is another appearing state of bliss, not my real self, nor any other state like longing or monkey mind is.. but search or longing for bliss comes again and again.
its quite paradox to ask, but what can "i" do? or how do you deal with that in your experience? i think the best way to deal is to accept this longing and try to come back out of mind to here and now, while focussing the breath or body sensations in daily life.
what do you think about my issue?
thank you,
kal


In Shikantaza and all forms of Zazen, the hard borders that separate self and other can soften or fully drop away, leaving only a wondrous interflowing. Sitting in the Wholeness and Allowing of Just Sitting Shikantaza can bring such about.

But in our Soto Way, such knowing is not the main point, and it is a mistake to chase after such experiences which can become like just another brass ring to chase. Here is more writing by me, sorry. It is about Satori in the Soto Way ....

http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthre ... post192257

As I say there ... comparing Satori to some dreamy visit to the Grand Canyon after a long bus trip ...

Different folks approach and define all this in their own way. In our Soto View, some folks way way way overvalue an experience of timelessly momentary "Kensho" ... as the be all and end all (beyond being or ending) of "Enlightenment" ... and chase after it like some gold ring on the merry go round. For Soto folks, that is like missing the point of the trip. For Soto Folks, when we realize such ... every moment of the Buddha-Bus trip, the scenery out the windows (both what we encounter as beautiful and what appears ugly), the moments of good health and moments of passing illness, the highway, the seats and windows, all the other passengers on the Bus who appear to be riding with us, when we board and someday when we are let off ... the whole Trip ... is all the Buddha-Bus, all Enlightenment and Kensho, all the "destination" beyond "coming" or "going" or "getting there", when realized as such (Kensho). This ride is what we make it.

...

Most folks just don't pierce that fact and are lost in delusion about the Nature of the trip. Most sentient being "passengers" on this ride just don't realize that, feeling homesick, car sick, separated from all the other passengers, revolted or attracted to what they see ... filling the whole trip with thoughts of greed and anger, spoiling the journey, making a mess of the bus and harming themselves and the other riders, unhappy until they get to the "promised destination" somewhere down the road. They may even get to the Grand Canyon, snap a picture and buy a sovenier, then wonder "is that all it is"? They do not realize is that the whole trip is WHAT IS! The wheels on the Buddha-Bus go round and round.


Let me know if that approach to the approachless is helpful.

Gassho, Jundo
Founder Treeleaf Zendo, Japan. Member SZBA. Treeleaf is an online Sangha for those unable to commute to a Sangha, w/ netcast Zazen, interaction with other practitioners and teachers & all activities of a Soto Sangha, fully online without charge (http://www.treeleaf.org) Nishijima/Niwa
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Re: questions about satori and shikantaza

Postby kal on Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:16 pm

jundo, thank you very much for these words. they are so reminding what is the point of IT. i got lost in the urge to see the canyon, so i miss the whole journey. you remind me for the right attitude to be here where i am, in the bus with all what is in that present moment.
gassho!
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Re: questions about satori and shikantaza

Postby jundo on Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:32 am

kal wrote:jundo, thank you very much for these words. they are so reminding what is the point of IT. i got lost in the urge to see the canyon, so i miss the whole journey. you remind me for the right attitude to be here where i am, in the bus with all what is in that present moment.
gassho!


I am sitting nearby too. :Namaste:

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