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WHAT's OFTEN MISSING in SHIKANTAZA EXPLANATIONS ....

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Re: WHAT's OFTEN MISSING in SHIKANTAZA EXPLANATIONS ....

Postby jundo on Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:01 pm

Hi Gregory,

Hmmm. I don't feel that this is a very good description of Shikantaza from where where "I" sit. Please let me explain:

Gregory Wonderwheel wrote:Faith is definitely one of the three essentials of practice, along with doubt and determination. In one sense I do not think that faith/trust can be overemphasized, but in another sense it can be overemphasized if the other two, doubt and determination, are missing or underemphasized.


Determination, as stick-to-it-ness, is very important in any Practice in life, even learning the piano.

However, "doubt" is typically a concept emphasized in Rinzai Zen and Koan Introspection Practice, emphasized especially by Dahui and Hakuin. One might say that the Big "T" Trust of Shikantaza sweeps in all the world (meaning, the "Whole Enchilada") and thus allows all times of ordinary human trust and times of human doubt. It is a Trust so Trustworthy that it even trusts all days of doubt and trusts all days of trust and all days of anything else that can be. Morton Schlutter "How Zen Became Zen" Page 112:

[Before Dahui] there was no notion of a ball of doubt that builds up before finally shattering. (In fact, doubt was seen as an impediment.)
http://terebess.hu/zen/How-Zen-Became-Zen.pdf

there is a subtle problem if we use trust as looking at an object to trust in. Though “trust in shikantaza” is not an object like a sutra book, it is still an objectified activity if seen as one activity among many others.


No, this is not correct. There is no object of trust in Shikantaza. Since Shikantaza is all and all is Shikantaza, there is no subject or object, no sitter or sat. There is nothing "outside" or "inside" Shikantaza, so how can there be an "object" (or even a "subject" for the matter)? Since Shikantaza is all, and all is one, there is nothing external (and since no "external", there is no "internal" either in contrast to "external"). Thus, no object is possible in this Trust.

Further, since Shikantaza is the whole universe (meaning, the "Whole Enchilada"), the whole world with nothing excluded, and since this world is sometimes a world of human trust and sometimes a world of human doubt ... it is a Trust that Trusts in times of trust, and it is a Trust that Trusts in times of doubt. Nothing is left out of this Trust, even doubt.

That separation as the one and only activity that is worthy of our complete and absolute trust, is what makes that approach to trust a risky business


Again, this seems to be a misunderstanding. Shikantaza is not the one and only activity that is worthy of such Trust, for we learn through sitting that all aspects of life and every facet of the universe are each and all Shikantaza, thus we experience that all aspects of life and every facet of the universe is worthy of Trust. This is a fundamental Big "T" Trust, that has Trust holding all the trustworthy aspects of life as well as all the not trustworthy aspects (i.e., an overriding universal Trust that even holds used car salemen and politicians! In fact, in Emptiness, what car is there to sell, what election to hold? Thus, keep one's eyes open and don't be a sucker, just grab the keys and drive to the polls!)

Any and every practice ultimately requires ultimate trust. In one sense we can say that it is the letting go into the trust that is what provides or ignites the efficacy and not the actual “method” in which the trust is placed. But the need to have a method and to trust in it completely is, to me, the point of trust, regardless of the particular method.


This is very hard for many folks to get their heads around, but Shikantaza is not a "method". How to express this? Zazen is all of Indra's Net, every jewel and every jewel within jewels. Thus, Zazen is the entire Universe (meaning, the "Whole Enchilada"). Shikantaza is the very Completeness and Wholeness of the entire Universe. So, is the universe a "method"? Is Completeness and Wholeness a method? No.

Thus, the Trust of Shikantaza is Trust in and as the Completeness and Wholeness of the Whole Universe (which, as mentioned, is everything, so there is no "object" nor "subject" to it). Understand?

The method is the raft to get to the other shore, so I say we need complete trust in the method as the raft, but as the Diamond Cutter Sutra points out, when we get across we don't pick up the raft and carry it with us.


Dogen had a wise and beautiful expression of the shores, the river and the raft. Basically, the far shore is this shore and the middle of the river to those who can see, and we never put the raft down in Practice-Enlightenment. Dogen wrote:

The principle of zazen in other schools is to wait for enlightenment. For example, to practice is like crossing over a great ocean on a raft, thinking that having crossed the ocean one should discard the raft. The zazen of Buddha-ancestors is not like this, but is simply Buddha’s practice. We could say that the situation of Buddha’s house is the one in which the essence, practice, and expounding are one and the same. (Eihei Koroku, vol. 8:11)

Rev. Kenshu Sugawara explains ...

In other schools zazen is a means to gain enlightenment. Like a raft, it is no longer useful when the goal is achieved. Some people boast about their experiences of great enlightenment and kensho. If their zazen practice regresses because of such an experience, that experience is nothing but a delusion that becomes a hindrance to the continuation of practice.

Zen Master Dogen says that the zazen of the Buddha-ancestors is Buddha’s practice. It is a very simple and plain practice of just continuing to sit, letting go of our views. Such zazen embodies the “situation of Buddha’s house” in which the essence (foundation/enlightenment), expounding (explaining the Dharma) and practice are one and the same. Therefore, there is no need to seek the Buddha outside zazen. Zazen is not a practice that produces a Buddha-ancestor but an action causing the Buddha-ancestors to live as Buddha-ancestors. The Buddha-ancestors are beings who have already clarified all kinds of enlightenment and psychological states. They have nothing more to gain, nothing more to realize. When zazen is valued as a practice performed by those Buddha-ancestors, the content of that zazen is called “nothing to attain nothing to enlighten” (Shobogenzo Zuimonki , book 6).

When there is nothing to be gained, nothing to be realized, sitting zazen is “body-mind dropping off (shinjin datsuraku).” Body-mind dropping off is not a wonderful psychological state to be gained as a result of sitting zazen. Rather, zazen itself is nothing but “body-mind dropping off.” It is to escape all kinds of clinging. When we sit zazen, our body-mind naturally drops off and the true Dharma manifests.
http://global.sotozen-net.or.jp/eng/lib ... erms01.pdf


Taigen Leighton puts it simply ...

In many traditional branches of Buddhism, meditation practice may eventually lead to enlightenment. Dogen states that some people even practice "like having crossed over a great ocean on a raft, thinking that upon crossing the ocean one should discard the raft. The zazen of our Buddha ancestors is not like this, but is simply Buddha's practice." In this common Buddhist simile of the raft, once one reaches the other shore of liberation the raft (e.g. of meditative practice) is no longer needed. But Dogen implies that the practitioner should continue to carry the raft, even while trudging up into the mountains or down into the marketplace.

For Dogen zazen is not waiting for enlightenment, but simply the practice of buddhas. This practice is not to acquire something in some other time, or in another state of consciousness or being. It is actually the practice of enlightenment or realization right now.
http://www.ancientdragon.org/dharma/art ... ent_ritual


You write:

shikantaza is not just something happening on the cushion but is the activity of our daily lives.


This is correct, because all that happens in our daily lives is Shikantaza. When sitting there is just sitting, and such is Shikantaza. When changing the baby diaper or climbing steps there is just changing the baby diaper or climbing steps, just Shikantaza. Each is sacred, a jewel in Indras Net, the universe without object.

In one sense, there is no genuinely true shikantaza until after the fruition of awakening, or to use Dogen’s image, after dropping body and mind as separate objectified entities. But sadly for many, they just sit as if literally just sitting is all there is to it, and they never generate the doubt of inquiry that turns the light around to shine into themselves, so they live a life of trust simply waiting, without awakening.


This is just an incorrect statement of the nature of Shikantaza. I believe the above has now explained why.

As Sixth Ancestor Huineng said, za does not mean just literally sitting, "za means thoughts do not arise when outwardly confronting good or bad conditions. To cultivate nonmoving is to see every person without seeing their rights and wrongs, virtues and evils, and perfections and troubles, and then our own nature is nonmoving."


Yes, Shikantaza is thoughts without thoughts, beyond good or bad in a world of "good and bad". Shikantaza is unmoving movement, seeing people with no people to see. Shikantaza is free of right and wrong, virtues and evil smack dab in a world of "right and wrong, virtues and evil" Shikantaza is perfect and free of all trouble, beyond all human judgment of perfect/imperfect or "troubles," just right here in an often imperfect world sometimes filled with troubles.

Understand? To summarize:

How can the One-beyond-One have an "object"? How can the universe be a "method"? All is Shikantaza and Shikantaza is every action, thus when sitting there is only the universe sitting. The "Trust" of Zazen is all the world and all the world is Zazen, so this Trust embodies both times of human trust and times of human doubt, not to mention times of war and times of peace, times of tending the baby and times of walking the stairs, times of sickness and times of health, times of gain and times of loss, times of birth and times of death. How can a Complete Act be lacking?

Gassho, J

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Re: WHAT's OFTEN MISSING in SHIKANTAZA EXPLANATIONS ....

Postby partofit22 on Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:53 am

desert_woodworker wrote:No.

Just one way of seeing; Yes.

--Joe


Yes, its one way of seeing it. :) i take it its not the way one would encourage, and yet its appreciated.
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Re: WHAT's OFTEN MISSING in SHIKANTAZA EXPLANATIONS ....

Postby Michaeljc on Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:02 am

Throughout the centuries this debate persists :)

m
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Re: WHAT's OFTEN MISSING in SHIKANTAZA EXPLANATIONS ....

Postby jundo on Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:12 pm

Michaeljc wrote:Throughout the centuries this debate persists :)

m


Shikantaza pulls Shikantaza up by its bootstraps as the Buddha's enlightenment and the whole wide world is bootstraps pulling bootstraps.

Image

Gassho, J
Last edited by jundo on Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: WHAT's OFTEN MISSING in SHIKANTAZA EXPLANATIONS ....

Postby bokki on Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:19 pm

therefore the mountain that walks on water wears boots

but now beyond the northern hills a storm is gathering
and will soon be upon us
a boot will do good
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Re: WHAT's OFTEN MISSING in SHIKANTAZA EXPLANATIONS ....

Postby jundo on Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:33 pm

bokki wrote:therefore the mountain that walks on water wears boots

but now beyond the northern hills a storm is gathering
and will soon be upon us
a boot will do good


What do you mean? Perhaps there is a clearer way to express this?

Gassho, Jundo
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Re: WHAT's OFTEN MISSING in SHIKANTAZA EXPLANATIONS ....

Postby Guo Gu on Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:05 pm

jundo,
thanks for your sharing in this discussion!
thank you for what you do; may your vows benefit all beings.
guo gu

p.s. method, no method--there's no fuzz.
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Re: WHAT's OFTEN MISSING in SHIKANTAZA EXPLANATIONS ....

Postby bokki on Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:50 pm

Yes, Mr. Jundo, certainly.
Please excuse my "poetic"s, and not being able to reply sooner.

northern hills > the still persisting division of the school
storm gathering > the Dharma cloud
soon be upon us > my trust in the Dharma cloud
boot > having practice

May i use this occasion to thank you for inspiring us
to sit shikantaza,
the Buddha meditation.

Thank you, Mr. Jundo.
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Re: WHAT's OFTEN MISSING in SHIKANTAZA EXPLANATIONS ....

Postby jundo on Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:49 am

bokki wrote:Yes, Mr. Jundo, certainly.
Please excuse my "poetic"s, and not being able to reply sooner.

northern hills > the still persisting division of the school
storm gathering > the Dharma cloud
soon be upon us > my trust in the Dharma cloud
boot > having practice

May i use this occasion to thank you for inspiring us
to sit shikantaza,
the Buddha meditation.

Thank you, Mr. Jundo.


:Namaste:
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Re: WHAT's OFTEN MISSING in SHIKANTAZA EXPLANATIONS ....

Postby [james] on Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:23 pm

TigerDuck wrote:I think Shikantaza can only be performed and called as shikantaza when the practitioner experiences:
- there is no one who is sitting right now.
- there is no activity of sitting right now.
- there is no object/phenomena which can be possibly engaged right now.


This one here right now, in the act of sitting here right now, engaged in the ebb and flow of awareness here right now... shikantaza

desert_woodworker wrote:And, Hmm, I do not think that Master Dogen would disagree!, especially in view of his constant, kindly, consistent, and insistent teaching that zazen itself is awakening.


The practitioner experiences what the practitioner experiences.
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Re: WHAT's OFTEN MISSING in SHIKANTAZA EXPLANATIONS ....

Postby [james] on Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:54 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:TD,

Nice.

TigerDuck wrote:Why not emphasize the reverse?
- Post sitting is the actual practise
- Sitting is where you test your practise

It can very well oscillate (between those). It all depends on causes and conditions. Not surprisingly! :)

Let's say though, that, "ideally" (?!?) -- or, practically, it may obtain that... -- there is no difference between "sitting" and "daily life". Then, the "reversal" you suggest is a "relative-" realm, or "relative-" world action. What's the view from "the Absolute"? (well, that is surely putting the cart before the horse, for anyone who can ask such a question, or make such a suggestion, as yours).

--Joe


Making daily life a "practice" is a recipe for dismal. Accept the chaos and freedom of daily life without constraint and be comfortable in practice with uncertainty, doubt, turmoil and deep peaceful stillness. "Daily Life", "Practice" ... one provides a position for investigating the other. The difference between the two should be clear, not muddled.
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Re: WHAT's OFTEN MISSING in SHIKANTAZA EXPLANATIONS ....

Postby LolloRosso on Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:35 am

Thank you all for your replies. They are deeply appreciated!

:Namaste:
Commenced on my Rakusu - very exciting!
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Re: WHAT's OFTEN MISSING in SHIKANTAZA EXPLANATIONS ....

Postby organizational on Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:05 am

jundo wrote:WHAT's OFTEN MISSING in SHIKANTAZA


My question is
When NOTHING HAPPENS something appears
What is it?
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Re: WHAT's OFTEN MISSING in SHIKANTAZA EXPLANATIONS ....

Postby jundo on Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:37 pm

organizational wrote:
jundo wrote:WHAT's OFTEN MISSING in SHIKANTAZA


My question is
When NOTHING HAPPENS something appears
What is it?


Dogen liked to remove question marks and make interrogative sentences declarative or exclamatory.

WHAT is it!

Book of Serenity Case 100:

A monk asked Master Kaku of Roya,
"If the essential state is pure and clear, then why do mountains, rivers and the great earth arise??"

Kaku said,
"If the essential state is pure and clear, then why do mountains, rivers and the great earth arise!!"


Shikantaza renders all interrogatives as exclamations, and all declarations as imperatives, all imperatives as interrogatives ...

Gassho, J

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