Sign in to follow this  
CedarTree

Zen Meditation

Recommended Posts

Does anyone practice Zazen and in particular the style closely resembling Shikantaza ("nothing but precisely sitting")?

 

This is a method of practice that lineages like the famous Soto Zen tradition of Kōdō Sawaki & Kōshō Uchiyama are famous for.  Famous monasteries and training locations like Antai-ji, Gyobutsuji Zen Monastery, and Sanshin Zen Community all belong to this school.

 

I would be interested to know how Daoists approach and view this practice in their own words.  Then if some are interested I`d love to dialogue a bit about on it :)

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do three kinds of meditation.

 

One is what I call non-meditation. The teaching for that is: no effort, no technique. It's like the 'just be' meditation, where you just sit there and innocently and effortlessly be.

 

The other two techniques I use are mindfulness of breathing, and choiceless awareness, the way Krishnamurti taught it.

 

Non-meditation and mindfulness of breathing are both used in Zen and could be considered Zazen.

 

I meditate with my eyes closed, sit however is comfortable (not with my back straight), and don't try to be still, as I find it more effective to allow physical movement.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to practice 'Silent Illumination' based on the work of Master Hongzhi and transmitted to the west by Master Sheng Yen. It's very similar to Shikantaza and when I took up Zhan Zhuang, my aim was simply to take the 'Silent Illumination' meditative state of mind over into a  standing meditation. I could then combine the benefits of meditation along with benefits of stance training.

 

I have to admit, I'm still not sure where I am in terms of this transition. If I were seated and took a 'Silent Illumination' state into a 'sitting and forgetting' state that is sometimes described in Daoism, I think I could achieve this with some success. Although how much change there would be between the two I can't really say.

 

However, with standing, the mental state is quite different from a sitting. I've read a few times that ZZ is not a meditation and that you should just let your mind wonder if it wants to so this is what I do. If my mind finds itself settling down then it is definitely nearing a 'Silent Illumination' state, but it is not my aim and these periods are relatively infrequent.

 

One of the differences for me is that sometimes while sat in Zazen, there can be a tendency for there to be a lot of energy in the head. Now, I don't feel this is an actual aim of the meditation, more something that can happen as a consequence of it. Where as with ZZ, arguably there is an aim for energy to descend as much as possible.

 

Ultimately I tend to agree with something that one of the posters Spotless often says - and that is to try to avoid trance like states in meditation, which means you are then more truly present i.e. each second that passes you feel as a whole second that has passed.

 

There are some thoughts on the topic :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

On 7/4/2017 at 7:38 PM, CedarTree said:

Does anyone practice Zazen and in particular the style closely resembling Shikantaza ("nothing but precisely sitting")?

 


Hi Cedartree, 

I am a formal student of the Soto School, which is primarily defined by our practice of Shikantaza. I'm not a transmitted teacher, however, just to be clear. 

If you have any questions please feel free to ask. 

In my own words - the Way is all pervasive, it cannot be faced or turned away from. It is fully actualized in each moment. That being said, the Way is not manifested without practice, not attained without realization. This being the case, attentiveness to the experience of being alive here and now is being attentive to the complete manifestation of the Way. If one person for even one moment practices attentiveness in correct upright posture, this practice includes all beings and permeates all time. 

Enlightenment is not elsewhere or somewhere in the future. It is within you, right now, and fully manifested when you devote yourself even for a moment to the Way, which is not other than the direct experience of your life right now. 

Edited by Stonehouse
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 07/27/2017 at 9:17 AM, Stonehouse said:

 


Hi Cedartree, 

I am a formal student of the Soto School, which is primarily defined by our practice of Shikantaza. I'm not a transmitted teacher, however, just to be clear. 

If you have any questions please feel free to ask. 

In my own words - the Way is all pervasive, it cannot be faced or turned away from. It is fully actualized in each moment. That being said, the Way is not manifested without practice, not attained without realization. This being the case, attentiveness to the experience of being alive here and now is being attentive to the complete manifestation of the Way. If one person for even one moment practices attentiveness in correct upright posture, this practice includes all beings and permeates all time. 

Enlightenment is not elsewhere or somewhere in the future. It is within you, right now, and fully manifested when you devote yourself even for a moment to the Way, which is not other than the direct experience of your life right now. 

 

Well said!

Belated welcome and warm greetings (-:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this