Hammering without a Hammer, Sweeping without a Broom, Arriving without a Train ...

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jundocohen
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Hammering without a Hammer, Sweeping without a Broom, Arriving without a Train ...

Post by jundocohen » Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:50 am

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Hi,

In Zazen, a balanced posture and natural breath are encouraged, but one should not use the posture or the breath as tools or vehicles to reach a goal or to seek some state. Many people use the posture, the breath and Zazen itself as a tool or vehicle in order to get some result or effect or to reach some illuminated state. So many people wish to use their Zazen to get some payoff. By doing so, they miss the most special of special Jewels always in hand, and run right past the Wisdom which is Shikantaza, the Illuminated Shining Sitting.

There are many forms of meditation which can be used to great effect, bringing various mental states, much as a hammer can be used to great effect to build a house, a broom to sweep clean, or a train can be used to arrive effectively at your destination.

But please understand the "Great Effect" of not needing to use and nothing in need of using. Then the "house" is just our True Home here all along. There is a Purity beyond all worldly clean and dirty.

Then one Arrives at the station that never can be left nor need be left even as we go. This is the Train which goes round and round the Enso.

I know it sounds strange, and counter-intuitive, but if one is hoping to know the Realm in which a Buddha is always At True Home and which cannot be reached, the best way is not to look for it over a distant hill or as something which must be built.

In Master Dogen's "Practice Enlightenment" perhaps we might speak of work which we must constantly do to be free of excess desire, anger and divided thinking in ignorance. However, every swing of the hammer is already the "True Home" originally built and always was. We are always serenely At Home even as we keep fixing and sweeping what needs to be fixed and cleaned. And as we travel ahead in life, because there are places to go and people to see in our hectic busy day, we are never apart from our Destination. Master Dogen realized how to move ahead and get things done, all while the heart is perfectly still. Then, one can know a Peace, Stillness and Silence which is this world that is anything but always peaceful, restful and silent!

I know it sounds strange, I know it sounds counter-intuitive: But put down the hammer even as we keep hammering away to build a better life and world. Put down the broom for there is no dust in need of sweeping, even as we keep sweeping to make the dirty to clean. Get off the train even as one keeps heading down the rails of time. Hammering without a hammer, sweeping without a broom, arriving and moving forward without ever leaving the station by an inch ... this is Master Dogen's "Practice Enlightenment."

Gassho, J
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Re: Hammering without a Hammer, Sweeping without a Broom, Arriving without a Train ...

Post by lobster » Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:37 am

:111:

We give up our zen-do for zendon't. Soon we will be indistinguishable from :107:

achievement, hammers, brooms, training etc

So-to a hat :hatsoff:

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Re: Hammering without a Hammer, Sweeping without a Broom, Arriving without a Train ...

Post by lindama » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:09 am

oh my, just don't pick up the hammer. My zen teacher's words ring loud and clear.... "life is not a self-improvement project".... unbounded generosity. ofc, if you wish, you are welcome to pick up the hammer.

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Re: Hammering without a Hammer, Sweeping without a Broom, Arriving without a Train ...

Post by boda » Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:17 pm

jundocohen wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:50 am
I know it sounds strange, I know it sounds counter-intuitive
Why do you think it sounds strange and counter-intuitive? Many things are accomplished by doing nothing. The opposite is also true and no less common sensical: many things are done that accomplish nothing. :lol:

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Re: Hammering without a Hammer, Sweeping without a Broom, Arriving without a Train ...

Post by jundocohen » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:14 am

bodhi wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:17 pm
jundocohen wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:50 am
I know it sounds strange, I know it sounds counter-intuitive
Why do you think it sounds strange and counter-intuitive? Many things are accomplished by doing nothing. The opposite is also true and no less common sensical: many things are done that accomplish nothing. :lol:
Oh my, point missed again.

Zazen is not "doing nothing" on the cushion or off. It is the Big D Doing which sweeps in all earthly doing or not doing. It is the Big N Not Doing that sweeps in all heavenly not doing or doing. One might say that Zazen, as well as all our actions off the cushion for those who can see, is True Doing-Non-Doing in Still Action.

Understand?

Gassho, J
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Re: Hammering without a Hammer, Sweeping without a Broom, Arriving without a Train ...

Post by boda » Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:59 am

jundocohen wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:14 am
Understand?
That you didn’t answer my question, sure. I don’t know why. It was your choice to answer it and you chose wisely. :)

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Re: Hammering without a Hammer, Sweeping without a Broom, Arriving without a Train ...

Post by desert_woodworker » Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:25 pm

When body and mind fall away, as happened for Ehei Dogen in China, then all will naturally be clear about what's afterwards necessary and sufficient.

Granted, apologists for Dogen's later recorded teachings in Japan stress his expressions made years and decades after his awakening under Rujing, but readers must be aware that his is the view from the awakened state. And, he himself did not awaken following the protocols that he afterward wrote about (let's not any longer be naive or disingenuous about that).

I think if one is under the care and direction of a good Zen Buddhist teacher and sangha, one is in a good place. And, in the awakened state, there is no sectarianism, just original mind, and the full panoply of uncovered, original human inheritances, ...and no fixed dharma.

Yes, some arrive by train, by bus, etc.; some clean with a broom, or feather-duster; some pound with a hammer, or the butt-end of a single-bitted hatchet.

What's to celebrate is that awakening is possible, and that the multifarious and various compassionate avenues lead to the Capital (again, when one is under skillful direction).

Hear-hear!,

:namaste:

--Joe
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Re: Hammering without a Hammer, Sweeping without a Broom, Arriving without a Train ...

Post by desert_woodworker » Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:28 pm

lindama wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:09 am
oh my, just don't pick up the hammer. My zen teacher's words ring loud and clear.... "life is not a self-improvement project".... unbounded generosity. ofc, if you wish, you are welcome to pick up the hammer.
Pick up the hammer, by all means, my Dears.

When the work is done, put it down.

Simple.

--Joe

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Re: Hammering without a Hammer, Sweeping without a Broom, Arriving without a Train ...

Post by jundocohen » Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:53 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:25 pm
When body and mind fall away, as happened for Ehei Dogen in China, then all will naturally be clear about what's afterwards necessary and sufficient.

Granted, apologists for Dogen's later recorded teachings in Japan stress his expressions made years and decades after his awakening under Rujing, but readers must be aware that his is the view from the awakened state. And, he himself did not awaken following the protocols that he afterward wrote about (let's not any longer be naive or disingenuous about that).
Hi Joe,

I would feel that, if someone were truly in an awakened state, they would understand how one can "get there" by either pushing forward then stopping, or just radically halting from the startless start. Where is suchness not? I understand both as ways to go (to where can't be gotten) and support all Pathless Paths, but you seem to struggle with the latter. Why, Joe?

If one were truly awake, perhaps they would know beyond knowing that going there is Buddha and here is Buddha, Buddha Buddha all around, no here or there. You seem insistent on your way or the highway vision of Awakening, which seems more like dogma than understanding. In fact, no matter the direction or distance that one drives on the Buddha's Boundless Highway, one draws no closer nor progresses farther. Likewise if one pulls to the side of the road and sits quietly under a tree.

One can have some experience but it is too narrow a vision. Do you know what Buddha looks like? I do not know what you think you know, or the insight you believe you possess. But it would seem to me that, were it truly Awakening, one would see the many roads on the One Mountain. Thus whether one climbs the mountain, digs in the mountain or simply Just Sits on the mountain, all is the One Mountain realized. Every step and blade of grass.

Sure, Dogen was Enlightened! Awakened! Open! True Nature Seen! But how? There are many forms of Opening, and many ways to go and "get non get" "there". Shikantaza is not the only way, Kanna Zen is not the only way. Silent Illumination is not the only way. Joe's way is not the only way. Before Koan Introspection was invented, I guess we must assume that no Zen fellow was enlightened because they came about it without that system? Or, nobody is enlightened by some other way than Joe's preferred way? Well, drop all such preferences and rest in wholeness! For centuries, "Just Sitting" like Practices have been a mainstream in Chan, and many folks became enlightened that way. Many dharma doors. Don't be in such a race to find the mountain when one is on the mountain ... when one already is the mountain, and has been all along.

Today, I am working on a chapter of my new book on Dogen's Zazenshin ...
Remember, the established means of exploration in learning the way is practicing the way in Zazen. The essential point of its manifest form is the understanding that there is a practice of buddha that does not seek to make a buddha. Since the practice of buddha is utterly beyond making a buddha, such is the realization of the truth right here, Genjo Koan. The embodied buddha is utterly beyond becoming buddha. Nonetheless, when the mental traps and cages of this are broken through, neither does sitting buddha hinder making buddha at all. At just such a moment, the power is present through one thousand, ten thousand ages past, to pass through buddhas and to pass through devils. Whether taking a step forward or back, its measure fills all ditches and fills valleys.

Zen Master Daijaku of Kōzei, after receiving the intimate transmission of the mind-seal when he was practicing under Zen Master Daie of Nangaku, always sat in zazen [i.e., Daijaku still continued to sit Zazen even after receiving Dharma Transmission as a Master]. Nangaku oneday went to Daijaku's place and asked him, “Virtuous monk! What are you aiming for, sitting in zazen?” We should quietly consider and investigate this query. That is, we should consider closely whether Nangaku is asking: Is there an aim that might be superior to sitting in zazen? Beyond the bounds of sitting in zazen, has there ever yet been a state of truth to aim for? Should there be no aiming for anything at all? Or, just in the moment of sitting in zazen itself, what kind of aim is being realized just so?

More than we love a carved dragon, we should love the real dragon. In fact, we should learn that both the carved dragon and the real dragon both possess the potency of clouds and rain. Do not simply value what is far away distant, but neither hold the distant in low regard. Just become completely intimate and familiar with it as the distant. Likewise, do not hold the close in high regard or low regard, and just become completely intimate and familiar with it as the close.

... Even if we do not know the actual meaning of “practicing seated Zazen,” we now know that it is “practicing seated buddha.” How could anyone but the descendant of rightful ancestors say that “practicing seated Zazen” is “practicing seated Buddha.” Truly, we should know that the beginner’s seated Zazen is the first seated Zazen, and that the first seated Zazen is the first seated Buddha.
Gassho, J
Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha, an online practice place for folks who cannot commute to a Zen Center due to health, living in remote areas, work or family needs. The focus is Shikantaza 'Just Sitting' Zazen http://www.treeleaf.org

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Re: Hammering without a Hammer, Sweeping without a Broom, Arriving without a Train ...

Post by desert_woodworker » Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:01 pm

Ohayo,
jundocohen wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:53 pm

I would feel that, if someone were truly in an awakened state, they would understand how one can "get there" by either pushing forward then stopping, or just radically halting from the startless start. Where is suchness not? I understand both as ways to go (to where can't be gotten) and support all Pathless Paths, ...
Thanks, Jundo. Good to have your statement.
jundocohen wrote: ...but you seem to struggle with the latter. Why, Joe?
That can only be an illusion you're subject to, there. I don't struggle, and I don't say I struggle. Granted, at such a remove via text-only and images, communication is grainy.

Faith brought me to practice in the very early 1970s: I felt it was possible to be more awake, and more intimate with Nature and beings. I later met my main teacher in Feb., 1979, and began his way of practice, brought to America from Taiwan, via Old China. I found it was indeed possible to be "more awake", and also saw the miraculous phenomenon of others waking-up (and out... ), too. To make a first-person account, I'd say it was indeed "dropping-away of body and mind". Dogen and Dogen's teacher observed that this is what happened for Dogen, too. So, good family-relations all around. But Dogen's opening did not take place under the protocols and understandings that Dogen later came to espouse through writings much after the fact: it took place under Rujing's. This is the point that I would wish the Dogen apologists would cease being naive and disingenuous about.

Various roads lead to the Capital. The superior and fitting one is the one that suits.

People sometimes ask me "What's the best telescope for amateur astronomers?": I have to answer, "The one that gets used."

--Joe

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Re: Hammering without a Hammer, Sweeping without a Broom, Arriving without a Train ...

Post by desert_woodworker » Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:47 pm

Jundo, good to hear of your upcoming book, and to have a sample while it's in-process; thanks. I wish you the best in developing it and completing it, and I hope it is satisfying and successful in every way.

--Joe

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Re: Hammering without a Hammer, Sweeping without a Broom, Arriving without a Train ...

Post by jundocohen » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:31 am

To make a first-person account, I'd say it was indeed "dropping-away of body and mind". Dogen and Dogen's teacher observed that this is what happened for Dogen, too. So, good family-relations all around. But Dogen's opening did not take place under the protocols and understandings that Dogen later came to espouse through writings much after the fact: it took place under Rujing's. This is the point that I would wish the Dogen apologists would cease being naive and disingenuous about.
Hi Joe,

Good for you and for your illustrious Teacher. But I have never found that your Teacher understood Dogen and Shikantaza, at least from anything that I have read by him. That does not mean that he is not a good Teacher.

Are you calling Dogen a liar? You say that he became enlightened one way, then came back to Japan and decided to pull a bait and switch? Hmmm. Very strange, and I have never heard such an assertion before.

I do believe that Dogen "killed Rujing on the road" and put some Dogenesque twists on many Chinese Practices, which is why Shikantaza -- is yet is not --- Silent Illumination. Most especially is the wholeness and sacredness of sitting itself, the accompanying radical goallessness, plus the emphasis on Practice-Enlightenment (which is ongoing sincere Practice in original enlightenment... polishing a Jewel that is already shining) and some other aspects. I sometimes call Shikantaza as Illumated Shining Sitting in which the sitting itself is the shining. The self resolved, desires set aside, such is bodymind dropped away.

I do see, however, that your years of Practice have afforded you the Abijña of time travel or reading the minds of the dead, for apparently you have been able to transport back to 13th Century Song China to witness events from inside Dogen's eye. Good for you. Because you are accusing Dogen of have learned certain methods (which happen to be the ways of a 20th Century Taiwanese fellow that you like) which were secretly effective for him, then hiding the fact or not bothering to mention it anywhere. That is strange.

Gassho, Jundo
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Re: Hammering without a Hammer, Sweeping without a Broom, Arriving without a Train ...

Post by desert_woodworker » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:49 am

Hiya,
jundocohen wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:31 am
Are you calling Dogen a liar?
Ha, ha,ha! Well, I have not done so, no.

I take to task the Dogen apologists.
jundocohen wrote:You say that he became enlightened one way, then came back to Japan and decided to pull a bait and switch? Hmmm. Very strange, and I have never heard such an assertion before.
Long overdue then, that I have been able to put this point before you, and thanks for the privilege, actually! I'm really grateful. I hope it can be of some general use and benefit, and not just to you and me. Folks here will read it, and maybe you'll include it in your book, too. Or, maybe it's just too obvious, and no one but you yourself has missed it.

Really, what I have always emphasized in discussion is the "human", or "human nature", in the original nature that is uncovered by correct and true practice, under a good teacher, with a sangha.
jundocohen wrote:I do see, however, that your years have Practice have afforded you the Abijña of time travel or reading the minds of the dead, for apparently you have been able to transport back to 13th Century Song China to witness events from inside Dogen's eye. Good for you. Because you are accusing Dogen of have learned certain methods (which happen to be the ways of a 20th Century Taiwanese fellow that you like) which were secretly effective for him, then hiding the fact or not bothering to mention it anywhere. That is strange.
No, don't go away half-cocked. I say that Dogen expresses himself from the point of view of awakening. So, he wrote as he did. Many don't (yet) see from the point of view of awakening, and, for them, their teachers help using the artifices that are effective. Some use Dogen's stipulations and observations. Others use no such things.

We're well and properly into it, now; thank you for this.

in Gassho,

--Joe

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Re: Hammering without a Hammer, Sweeping without a Broom, Arriving without a Train ...

Post by michaeljc » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:08 am

I see grave danger in any student claiming that they have been awakened and to talk in a condescending manner to those that they believe have not

I have much more faith in reading behind words: "This person has a lot that s/he is not telling us"

It is on this basis that I would investigate further a potential teacher

Bus this is just me (my perception) at this moment in time

:namaste:

m

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Re: Hammering without a Hammer, Sweeping without a Broom, Arriving without a Train ...

Post by desert_woodworker » Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:26 am

Sorry, all, I misspelled Eihei Dogen's name, further up the thread a few days. My error. Not intentional. A typo. Some type o' type, anyway.
joe wrote:When body and mind fall away, as happened for Ehei Dogen in China, then all will naturally be clear about what's afterwards necessary and sufficient.
--Joe

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Re: Hammering without a Hammer, Sweeping without a Broom, Arriving without a Train ...

Post by desert_woodworker » Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:49 am

Jundo,
jundocohen wrote:But I have never found that your Teacher understood Dogen and Shikantaza, at least from anything that I have read by him. That does not mean that he is not a good Teacher.
It's OK. Yes, the late Ch'an Master, Ven. Sheng Yen (1931-2009), is/was my shih-fu since Feb., 1979.

I cannot say Sheng Yen talked or taught much about Dogen, but it was clear he respected him as one of our revered Ancestors. Sheng Yen's way was not to lift to the rafters any particular master in our Pantheon, but his way was to take absolutely the best care of each and every one of his many students and disciples, both monastic and lay. I'll say he was always "in real-time". Whatever was the case, whatever was happening, was for all of us something we shared, and something we appreciated (I think this was a "Lin-chi" side of him that I was seeing). And he was an absolute master of the retreat situation.

Before Sheng Yen felt he could come to the West to teach, he said that he felt he would need to have an advanced academic degree, as well as all his monastic training and vows, and solitary retreat experience (6 years alone in the mountains of central Taiwan). He went to Japan, and trained and practiced there, and also attended the great Japanese Buddhist university of Japan, Rissho University. Master Sheng Yen was the first Chinese National to take a PhD in Buddhist Studies at Rissho University. I have to suppose that some or much of his comprehensive coursework and exams prior to the preparation of his dissertation may have had to do with Dogen, whom we know is mightily important in Japan, and especially in a Buddhist context. With such a background, and with his thorough practice, realization, and his lineage-holding in both T'sao-T'ung and Lin-chi streams, I feel confident that he has given Dogen and many others their deserved attention.

My Dharma brother Guo Gu may have more information to share on some of these points if anyone will ask.

rgds,

--Joe (Guo Xiang)

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Re: Hammering without a Hammer, Sweeping without a Broom, Arriving without a Train ...

Post by jundocohen » Sat Apr 21, 2018 3:20 am

desert_woodworker wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:49 am
Jundo,
jundocohen wrote:But I have never found that your Teacher understood Dogen and Shikantaza, at least from anything that I have read by him. That does not mean that he is not a good Teacher.
It's OK. Yes, the late Ch'an Master, Ven. Sheng Yen (1931-2009), is/was my shih-fu since Feb., 1979.

I cannot say Sheng Yen talked or taught much about Dogen, but it was clear he respected him as one of our revered Ancestors. Sheng Yen's way was not to lift to the rafters any particular master in our Pantheon, but his way was to take absolutely the best care of each and every one of his many students and disciples, both monastic and lay. I'll say he was always "in real-time". Whatever was the case, whatever was happening, was for all of us something we shared, and something we appreciated (I think this was a "Lin-chi" side of him that I was seeing). And he was an absolute master of the retreat situation.

Before Sheng Yen felt he could come to the West to teach, he said that he felt he would need to have an advanced academic degree, as well as all his monastic training and vows, and solitary retreat experience (6 years alone in the mountains of central Taiwan). He went to Japan, and trained and practiced there, and also attended the great Japanese Buddhist university of Japan, Rissho University. Master Sheng Yen was the first Chinese National to take a PhD in Buddhist Studies at Rissho University. I have to suppose that some or much of his comprehensive coursework and exams prior to the preparation of his dissertation may have had to do with Dogen, whom we know is mightily important in Japan, and especially in a Buddhist context. With such a background, and with his thorough practice, realization, and his lineage-holding in both T'sao-T'ung and Lin-chi streams, I feel confident that he has given Dogen and many others their deserved attention.

My Dharma brother Guo Gu may have more information to share on some of these points if anyone will ask.

rgds,

--Joe (Guo Xiang)
Hi Joe,

Ven. Sheng Yen is a wonderful Teacher, in my view. Guo Gu, in some of his writings, has said that Shikantaza is not really coextensive with Shikantaza.
In the West, silent illumination is usually presented through the lens of Soto Zen practice as shikantaza, a term coined by Dogen Zenji to describe the embodiment of awakening. However, shikantaza is not a distinct category of practice, and while it is a part of silent illumination, it cannot encompass it.
https://www.lionsroar.com/you-are-already-enlightened/
Shikantaza encompasses the whole universe and then some, and is the embodiment of awakening, but is not the same as Master Sheng Yen's interpretations of "Silent Illumination." (A Koan)

Rissho University is a training center for Nichiren Buddhism, as you know. It is a wonderful school, and Nichiren Buddhism is a wonderful Path too (my wife's Japanese parents are Nichiren Buddhists). Ol' Nichiren was really critical of other schools of Buddhism, including Zen:
“All the people throughout Japan have been led astray by the wild assertions […] of the Zen school, which declares its teaching to be ‘a separate transmission outside the sutras’… So believing, over the past more than twenty years I have never ceased to cry out in a loud voice against these errors, fearing neither the ruler of the nation nor the common people. WND 1 p 442
...

During the era of Kennin (1201-1203) two monks named Hōnen and Dainichi emerged to establish the schools of Pure Land and Zen respectively. Hōnen declared that in the Latter Age of Degeneration not even one out of one thousand could obtain Buddhahood by means of the Lotus Sūtra, whereas Dainichi maintained that Zen is the essence of Buddhism transmitted specially outside the written scriptures and verbal preaching. These two false teachings spread all over Japan. (Hori 2002, p. 112)

...

Monks who study only the writings refer to those who are concerned only with letters but do not engage in introspection of the mind; and Zen monks who are concerned only with formality refer to those who are concerned only with concentration on the nose or lower belly without experiencing the true state of meditation. This is the same as the meditation of brahmins, who will never gain complete freedom from delusions and passions. T’ien-t’ai’s statement that some Zen monks concentrate only on meditation is an understatement sympathetic to them. In actuality, they lack both practice in meditation as well as wisdom to understand the doctrine. Those who practice Zen consider only meditation important and pay little attention to the study of doctrines.” (Ibid, p. 100 modified)
It is unfortunate that we criticize others, and if you ask me, all are wonderful Paths. Just the same, yet sometimes very different. Often quite different, yet always just the same.

Gassho, J
Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha, an online practice place for folks who cannot commute to a Zen Center due to health, living in remote areas, work or family needs. The focus is Shikantaza 'Just Sitting' Zazen http://www.treeleaf.org

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Re: Hammering without a Hammer, Sweeping without a Broom, Arriving without a Train ...

Post by jundocohen » Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:33 am

Master Sheng-yen wrote this on Shikantaza ...
When the method of silent illumination was taken to Japan it was changed somewhat.
The name given to it, "just sitting", means just paying attention to sitting or just keeping
the physical posture of sitting, and this was the new emphasis. The word "silent" was
removed from the name of the method and the understanding that the mind should be
clear and have no thoughts was not emphasized. In silent illumination, "just sitting" is
only the first step. While you maintain the sitting posture, you should also try to establish
the "silent" state of the mind. Eventually you reach a point where the mind does not move
and yet is very clear. That unmoving mind is "silent," and that clarity of mind is
"illumination." This is the meaning of "silent illumination."
https://terebess.hu/zen/szoto/SilentIllumination.pdf
This contains a few important mischaracterizations of Shikantaza, in my feeling. Shikantaza was never "just paying attention to sitting or just keeping the posture." As I hope my Dogen quotes make clear, there is a bit more to it than that whereby (from Zazenshin):

There is a practice of buddha that does not seek to make a buddha. Since the practice of buddha is utterly beyond making a buddha, such is the realization of the truth right here [Genjo Koan]. The embodied buddha is utterly beyond becoming buddha. Nonetheless, when the mental traps and cages of this are broken through, neither does sitting buddha hinder making buddha at all. At just such a moment, the power is present through one thousand, ten thousand ages past, to pass through buddhas and to pass through devils. Whether taking a step forward or back, its measure fills all ditches and fills valleys.

Furthermore, Sheng-yen would not say it correctly if he says that "just sitting is only the first step" (although he might be correct if he holds to the mistaken belief that all there is to Shikantaza is "keeping the posture" and that the objective is to an "unmoving mind" as he describes in that essay) Rather, Shikantaza is the first step, the last step, the Alpha-Omega Stepless Step.

Nangaku further teaches, “Are you practicing seated Zazen, or are you practicing seated buddha?” Investigating this saying, we should discern the pivotal essence of the ancestral lineage. Even if we do not know the actual meaning of “practicing seated Zazen,” we now know that it is “practicing seated buddha.” How could anyone but the descendant of rightful ancestors say that “practicing seated Zazen” is “practicing seated Buddha.” Truly, we should know that the beginner’s seated Zazen is the first seated Zazen, and that the first seated Zazen is the first seated Buddha. ... [Nangaku’s] saying here that “buddha is beyond any fixed form” expresses the form of buddha, and because it is buddha beyond any fixed form, it is thoroughly impossible to avoid seated buddha. Thus, since buddha is adorned with transcendence of any form, when we are practicing seated Zazen, it is just seated buddha.

Master Sheng-yen is one of the great Teachers of Silent Illumination, to be honored. But somebody sure gave him cornball information on Shikantaza (Although, in all fairness to him, there are even so-called "Shikantaza" teachers here and there who present what they call as "Just Sitting" as just "paying attention to the posture" and the like. So, perhaps he got his information from such a questionable source and is not to be faulted.)

Gassho, Jundo
Last edited by jundocohen on Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha, an online practice place for folks who cannot commute to a Zen Center due to health, living in remote areas, work or family needs. The focus is Shikantaza 'Just Sitting' Zazen http://www.treeleaf.org

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lindama
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Re: Hammering without a Hammer, Sweeping without a Broom, Arriving without a Train ...

Post by lindama » Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:42 am

oh, yous guys... for heavens sake, all the honored ones are speaking from the same place. The words and sensibility may seem different... I have no need to sift the sands.

ofc, we can get pulled into our preferences which seem different yet the same. I learned my lesson while trying to reply on DW in the Nichiren area..... it was zeros and ones to me.

I've sat with soto/Dogen folks and Chan/Sheng Yen folks .... the reed bends in the wind. Has anyone noticed how many keys there are on a piano?

linda

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jundocohen
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Re: Hammering without a Hammer, Sweeping without a Broom, Arriving without a Train ...

Post by jundocohen » Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:48 am

lindama wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:42 am
oh, yous guys... for heavens sake, all the honored ones are speaking from the same place. The words and sensibility may seem different... I have no need to sift the sands.

ofc, we can get pulled into our preferences which seem different yet the same. I learned my lesson while trying to reply on DW in the Nichiren area..... it was zeros and ones to me.

I've sat with soto/Dogen folks and Chan/Sheng Yen folks .... the reed bends in the wind.

linda
Hi Linda,

You are exactly right!

Beethoven is lovely, Jerry Lee Lewis is lovely, Thelonius Monk is lovely ... all the same piano of the Universe, all the same notes of Dharma, each playing their own tune.

Jerry Lee Lewis in not Beethoven.



Gassho, Jundo
Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha, an online practice place for folks who cannot commute to a Zen Center due to health, living in remote areas, work or family needs. The focus is Shikantaza 'Just Sitting' Zazen http://www.treeleaf.org

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