A question on non-seeking (split from Master Sheng Yen resources topic)

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bokki
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A question on non-seeking (split from Master Sheng Yen resources topic)

Post by bokki » Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:48 pm

oohh,

What I am unable to accomplish in this lifetime,
I vow to push forward through countless future lives;
what I am unable to accomplish personally,
I appeal to everyone to undertake together.

— Master Sheng Yen (1930-2009)
:bow2:
[/quote]

does any1 want to say something about non seeking?
specifically, about non seeking shikantaza?
i suppose its something like seeking is non seeking is seeking..
just curious, how far some interesting word configurations can go..
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Re: A question on non-seeking (split from Master Sheng Yen resources topic)

Post by fuki » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:34 am

double post from "nothing goes"

Image

Zen Master Xuanze had affinity with Fayan. Once Xuanze was appointed as director in the assembly of Fayan. One day Fayan said, “How many years have you been here?”
Xuanze replied, “I have already been in the teacher’s assembly for three years.”
Fayan said, “You are a student, so why don’t you ever ask me about Dharma?”
Xuanze said, “I dare not deceive the teacher. When I was at Qingfeng’s place, I realized peace and joy.”
Fayan asked, “Through which words were you able to enter?”
Xuanze responded, “I once asked Qingfeng, ‘What is the self of the student [i.e., my own self]?’ Qingfeng said, ‘The fire boy comes seeking fire.’”
Fayan said, “Good words, only I am afraid that you did not understand them.”
Xuanze said, “The fire boy belongs to fire. Already fire but still seeking fire is just like being self and still seeking self.”
Fayan exclaimed, “Now I really know that you do not understand. If Buddha Dharma was like that it would not have lasted till today.”
Xuanze was overwrought and jumped up. Out on the path he thought, “He is the guiding teacher of five hundred people. His pointing out my error must have some good reason.” He returned to Fayan’s place and did prostrations in repentance.
Fayan said, “You should ask the question.”
Xuanze asked, “What is the self of the student?”
Fayan said, “The fire boy comes seeking fire.” Xuanze was greatly enlightened.

~Dogen’s Extensive Record, as translated by Shohaku Okumura and Taigen Leighton.

--------------------------------------------------------------
Bokki also read Masters Sheng Yen's commentary on Faith in Mind.
https://terebess.hu/english/hsin3.html

Jundo already made a clear post regarding the topic of "non-seeking" a while ago. perhaps he wants to say something again I forgot where he posted it
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Re: A question on non-seeking (split from Master Sheng Yen resources topic)

Post by jundocohen » Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:39 pm

Although this is about Chan, I would like to jump in as Shikantaza is mentioned. (Master Sheng Yen was not really a Shikantaza Teacher from my understanding of his words).

The little self needs to get someplace, attain some achievement, fill some hole, satisfy a desire, cure some dis-ease. Or, the little self may sit complacent in its mental confusion, wallow in its emotions, twiddle its thumbs and kill some time.

Shikantaza is not that.

Shikantaza is sincere and radical satisfaction in the very act of Just Sitting, in which the Sitting itself is the total resolution of all searching, with not one other act to do, not one other place to be, in all the world in that timeless time of sitting. Thus, one knows the medicine for the dis-ease of Dukkha arising from our human desire. Such fulfillment is not mere wallowing and complacency. There is no time that can be killed or wasted, and so we sit a certain time each day sincerely not wasting a moment!

There is nothing to deepen, no time and no measure, so that the Zazen of a rank beginner on her first day, and the Zazen of someone sitting 30 years is just the same. However, hopefully the latter is 30 years down the road of better realizing such fact deeply. Both are burning as the ‘The fire boy comes seeking fire,' but the more experienced fellow should have that burned into the bones.

Practice meant to attain some state, achieve some realm, clean obstacles and delusions, are mountains and rivers away. Shikantaza arrives at the state which can only be arrived at by arriving in each step, achieves that which can only be achieved in freedom from all hunting, cleans all obstacles and delusions away.

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: A question on non-seeking (split from Master Sheng Yen resources topic)

Post by Dan74 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:47 pm

I hope more voice chime in and share something from experience..

My sense is that there is stil a song in the dragon. viewtopic.php?f=30&t=227

How many here can say they have truly eliminated all seeking? And if one seeking is to remain (and it must, for a Bodhisattva), it is that of which the Master speaks.

In Mahayana, we make the Great Vow. How does that square with the non-seeking, with the Diamond Sutra where there are no beings to be saved, and no Bodhisattva to save them? That's something we all need to settle for ourselves. But the worst would be to arrive at a conclusion before truly settling it.

_/|\_

PS I should've kept my trap shut... Don't take my musings for anything other than empty mumbling of a beginner.

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Re: A question on non-seeking (split from Master Sheng Yen resources topic)

Post by jundocohen » Sun Mar 11, 2018 5:07 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:47 pm

How many here can say they have truly eliminated all seeking? And if one seeking is to remain (and it must, for a Bodhisattva), it is that of which the Master speaks.

In Mahayana, we make the Great Vow. How does that square with the non-seeking, with the Diamond Sutra where there are no beings to be saved, and no Bodhosattva to save them? That's something we all need to settle for ourselves. But the worst would be to arrive at a conclusion before truly settling it.

_/|\_

PS I should've kept my trap shut... Don't take my musings for anything other than empty mumbling of a beginner.
I think you hit the nail on the head. There are no sentient beings to be saved, and nothing ultimately to save them from (thus no goal and nothing to obtain). As wisely strange as it is, our Bodhisattva Goal must be to save the sentient beings precisely by letting them realize too that there are "no sentient beings to be saved, and nothing ultimately to save them from." One thus finds by totally resting, walking the mountain with arrival in each step. We show them that they are dogs chasing their own tails. The eye finds the eye not by looking outside itself. We seek to show our fellow sentient beings this way of non-seeking, our goal is to let all taste the true path of goallessness.

I sometimes compare our way to the counter-intuitive wisdom of escaping from Chinese finger cuffs, the ones which bind one the more one pulls and struggles to be free ... yet which totally release when all effort is dropped.

I just read a lovely essay (which I cannot access now) about how the Zen folks collapsed into a singularity the 10 Stages of the Bodhisattva Path (in some interpretations believed something which would require many many very long Kalpa to accomplish) into a flash, Buddhahood in an instant. I believe this is true. Whether or not one must walk a very long road to achieve the "perfection of a Buddha with 32 Marks," one can know the "perfection of Buddha" in Zazen, right in and as this seemingly (in human terms) imperfect life and world of Samsara.

We free ourselves from excess desire, anger and divided thinking as a Lotus in the muck of Samsara, amid excess desire, anger and divided thinking. This is, for many of us, the message of this wise-crazy Path.

All of this is realized in the amazing trick of attaining by dropping all goals, and achieving by resting the hunting heart which hungers for achievement.

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: A question on non-seeking (split from Master Sheng Yen resources topic)

Post by fuki » Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:03 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:47 pm

How many here can say they have truly eliminated all seeking? And if one seeking is to remain (and it must, for a Bodhisattva), it is that of which the Master speaks.
What do you mean by seeking?
I noticed the definition varies depending on the individual.

In the "practise" of non-dwelling where are ideas of seeking or non-seeking? simply put down the myriad ideas and Practise/practise.

if not identified (or not so attached) to embodied existence, life is simply an unfolding expansion of the "mystery" seeking implies grasping, ideas like seeking/non-seeking is just mind's entertainment from my angle of vision, neither thoughts or absence of thoughts, breath, live it's all spontaneous. Why did I have a thirst for "truth" "reality" etc as a young kid, why reason about it? the moment I start to reason I fall into error. The beauty is I met so many wonderful teachers who keep lighting my match, I just thank them and walk on, without expecting anything from life. I have no reason to eliminate anything, whatever arises is "eradicated" in its "own" condition, that is not in contradiction with "nothing to do"

whoever has such a fire/thirst will be open for the flooding, with or without notions of seeking. Much ado about nothing if you ask me. The Buddhist scriptures regarding bondage/liberation, bodhisattvas/buddhas, samsara/nirvana, everyone has his own ideas about that.
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Re: A question on non-seeking (split from Master Sheng Yen resources topic)

Post by Dan74 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:28 pm

Why do Bodhisattvas work tirelessly to benefit sentient beings? There is a focus that comes with wisdom that is very different to the 'it's al ok' attitude of a pot-smoking Dude.. Not saying that's what you describe but it does sound a bit like this to my ears.

All the great masters of the past and come to think of it, all contemporary teachers I respect, were very hard workers. Why did they bother?

I am not saying it was out of some ego-driven seeking. No. But throwing it overboard too early, one drifts in the raft without a compass or direction.

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Re: A question on non-seeking (split from Master Sheng Yen resources topic)

Post by fuki » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:11 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:28 pm
Why do Bodhisattvas work tirelessly to benefit sentient beings?
.......Why did they bother?
No words will do it justice.

:111:
 'it's al ok' attitude
earnestness and preserverance matters, the sincere effort (non-seeking effort?) :lol: is what matters, the results are not our concern. call that whatever attitude you want, "all ok with me" :cat:
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Re: A question on non-seeking (split from Master Sheng Yen resources topic)

Post by Wayfarer » Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:35 pm

Something that Krishnamurti often said rings true to me: It is the truth that liberates you, not your effort to be free.

But I've also found that (paradoxically) it takes constant and persistent effort to really understand and real-ize the meaning of that saying.

I suppose that is implemented by the way in which you practice. I am finding, all the time, that the only effort required is to turn up and sit. And that does take effort! But then having turned up there's nothing that you can actually do, or find, or even experience. At that point of turning up, a persistent effort is needed simply to be at that exact time and place, but wanting nothing from it.

The other point that continually comes to mind is that we have already been given, or received, the gift of dharma, but that we are always forgetting it. So it is much more a matter of learning to be properly grateful, than seeking for something that we feel we don't have.
The most important thing is not at all important.

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Re: A question on non-seeking (split from Master Sheng Yen resources topic)

Post by Caodemarte » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:56 pm

“The thing to avoid is either seeking results or rejecting your situation, because either one will prevent your mind from settling."

"When you have a mind of seeking or avoiding things, psychological reactions will occur and illusions will manifest."

“This is not to say that meditation is not useful. The point is that trying to become enlightened through meditation is precisely the karmic consciousness of a seeking mind. When we are seeking, there is also rejecting, and when we seek and reject, we create vexations. That very seeking mind—sitting in meditation hoping to become a buddha—was Mazu’s obstacle to enlightenment. But when Mazu realized that his attachment to the idea of buddhahood was an obstruction, he became enlightened."

Some relevant quotes from “Shattering the Great Doubt: The Chan Practice of Huatou" by Sheng Yen.

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Re: A question on non-seeking (split from Master Sheng Yen resources topic)

Post by Caodemarte » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:51 am

From a much older Chan teacher than Sheng-yen on mistakes that include waiting for something, seeking, and non-seeking:

“On top of that, in the midst of delusion you are assuming a posture of waiting for awakening [i.e., you yourself have created the delusion, but you yourself are waiting for awakening]. It’s just these...upside-down viewpoints that are the basis of samsara.”

“If you maintain your mind in the state of [waiting for] shattering, then the time of shattering will never come in an eternity of aeons.”

“You shouldn’t be slack either. If you’re slack....you will be gloomy and dark [i.e., in torpor]. [The teachings of the perverse teachers] “quelling delusive thought” ....] and “[effortfully] concentrating mind” ... ] are both mistakes.”

“The Letters of Chan Master Dahui Pujue” translated by J. Broughton with E. Y. Watanabe

Now back to the cushion so I can repeatedly commit mistakes!
Last edited by Caodemarte on Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:43 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: A question on non-seeking (split from Master Sheng Yen resources topic)

Post by bokki » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:13 am

thank you Caodemarte,
ill b banal here and post wiki..
According to the Transmission of the Lamp, Mazu was a student of Nanyue Huairang (677-744) at Mount Heng in Hunan[6][7]

A story in the entry on Nanyue Huairang in the Transmission of the Lamp is regarded as Mazu's enlightenment-account, though the text does not claim it as such.[8] An earlier and more primitive version of this story appears in the Anthology of the Patriarchal Hall which was transcribed in 952:

Reverend Ma was sitting in a spot, and Reverend Rang took a tile and sat on the rock facing him, rubbing it. Master Ma asked, "What are you doing?" Master [Huairang] said, "I'm rubbing the tile to make it a mirror." Master Ma said, "How can you make a mirror by rubbing a tile?" Master [Huairang] said, "If I can't make a mirror by rubbing a tile, how can you achieve buddhahood by sitting in meditation?"[9][a]

This story echoes the Vimalakirti Sutra and the Platform Sutra in downgrading purificative and gradualist practices instead of direct insight into the Buddha-nature.[10]
and still, trough these examples, such as fuki quoted of shishuang, we can get a glimpse as to what the cornerstones of zen are.
(( ps: fuki thnx for the great painting and koan mention!))
just so i get obnoxious and ask again:
is it by:
not seeking buddhas teaching, not seeking 2 b, not existing, suddenly, out of the blue sky, ooops, a roshis robe fell onto 1 , and now he is a teacher? is that the idea?
i must b a retard..i thought Buddha sought enlightenment..lol.

can some1 tell me, how long did mazu seek until he met nanyue? not at all, or all his spiritual life, until his realisation?

it is well said that the truth liberates, not the practice. when the practice becomes a fetish, or some strange, contradictory word and sentence configuration, to me.. it looks like selling the ox for half a chicken.

some call zen the art of enlightenment..some call it the art of sitting. btw, im soto, im sure they have my name in the records, i was reported. nontheless, i have my own view of that, not 4 this thread, but tell me, u like zen bcs of realisation of ur true nature, or 4 the love of sitting??

ALL imo, plz.
IMO only.
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Re: A question on non-seeking (split from Master Sheng Yen resources topic)

Post by bokki » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:33 am

oh, and i forgot to b 'rude' to the brim:
Shitou said:
"Our teaching has been handed down by the ancient buddhas. We do not speak of meditation or spiritual progress, only the arrival of knowledge and vision of buddhahood."
t. cleary, timeless spring, soto zen anthology, page 1.
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burst into flames.
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Re: A question on non-seeking (split from Master Sheng Yen resources topic)

Post by Caodemarte » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:27 am

On striving and seeking in zazen: “..... we are constantly seeking for something. This pattern of restlessness is so deeply rooted in us that we naturally feel zazen practice as something very unsatisfying, disappointing, and nonresponsive. This might sound strange, but in zazen we... are satisfied with this unsatisfactoriness, or we rest in deep peace with uneasiness. That is exactly what zazen is all about. It is the most wonderful thing about zazen. It is, of course, very hard for us...to understand and accept this. But it is, above all, important to sincerely study and wholeheartedly practice this kind of zazen without distorting it....”https://terebess.hu/zen/mesterek/Fujita ... a-Tile.pdf

Boki has raised the tile polishing story. Although the two teachers polishing tiles are Chan (to keep this in the right section :105: ), the Japanese exchange student Dogen has something to say:


[Ma-tsu] said, “I strive to make a buddha.”

You should thoroughly understand the meaning of this expression.....There is “striving” before “making a buddha”; there is “striving” after “making a buddha”; and there is “striving” right at the moment of “making a buddha.” Now let me ask this question: How many [ways of] “buddha making” does such singular “striving” entwine? These entwinings are bound to entwine more entwinings. At this time, entwinings, as the individuated forms of all buddha makings, are always the direct expressions of all the buddha makings, and constitute the individuated forms of striving without exception. You should not shirk this singular striving. When you shirk this singular striving, you will lose your life; even if you lose your life, that in itself is your singular striving’s entwining!


From “Dogen on Meditation and Thinking” by Kim Hee-Jin (aka Hee-Jin Kim).

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Re: A question on non-seeking (split from Master Sheng Yen resources topic)

Post by fuki » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:03 am

I like the metaphor of a man digging a well and discarding anything that is not water, just like practise is to "uncover" or "actualize" one's true nature (truth/reality etc) but while practising/living there is no gaining idea nor thought of when will I reach the water, for that would give rise to the idea that "I and water" are two or one. Call it faith or intuition or whatever. No one can really explain it since words can't describe it. A universe of books is written on the matter and the library will keep expanding, whatever temporary idea one needs to practise is good, until we forget anything we ever learned and we no longer need a conceptual motivation to practise or not practise, I don't think it's anything worth arguing over or compare who says what about seeking/non-seeking. Some days Sheng Yen's words are good medicine/motivation, other days they don't apply but yet are good medicine for whoever needs them. None of the ancient books have any meaning by themselves, no words do, the meaning are in the arising and depend on the situation. Only on the internet we fight a lot (zen space cool so far) because we miss this point regarding the meaning, function and direction of words.
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Re: A question on non-seeking (split from Master Sheng Yen resources topic)

Post by Larry » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:21 am

Caodemarte wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:27 am
[Ma-tsu] said, “I strive to make a buddha.”

You should thoroughly understand the meaning of this expression.....There is “striving” before “making a buddha”; there is “striving” after “making a buddha”; and there is “striving” right at the moment of “making a buddha.” Now let me ask this question: How many [ways of] “buddha making” does such singular “striving” entwine? These entwinings are bound to entwine more entwinings. At this time, entwinings, as the individuated forms of all buddha makings, are always the direct expressions of all the buddha makings, and constitute the individuated forms of striving without exception. You should not shirk this singular striving. When you shirk this singular striving, you will lose your life; even if you lose your life, that in itself is your singular striving’s entwining!


From “Dogen on Meditation and Thinking” by Kim Hee-Jin (aka Hee-Jin Kim).
Eight strivings yet no striving at all!

I've gone all Jundo :lol:

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Re: A question on non-seeking (split from Master Sheng Yen resources topic)

Post by Fruitzilla » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:57 pm

Funny, I just found a documentary about Charlotte Joko Beck this weekend where she goes into this question. She does add a bit about growing up in it though, which I also think is really needed before going into all the non-seeking, everything is one stuff.

Here it is:
In the traditional way of teaching Zen, called Shikantaza, or just simply to sit, that's what it means: just sitting, there's not the emphasis on relating the physical experience to the mental monkey shines. It's when they come together that the personality and the person begin to integrate. You can sit in a very clear awareness without having any awareness of yourself and the sort of things you really would like to think about.

So, it's when you have denied nothing and let it all sit in there it comes together. That seems to be the maturing factor of sitting. Not forever, eventually that becomes very easy, but until you've done that, the next layer of sitting can't show up. Until you're largely free of your personal ambition you might say. For your own life to go well, or for your children's life to go well.

All that stuff we think we have to do, it stands in the way. That doesn't mean you don't take care of your children, but you don't have a life as an ambitious project.

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Re: A question on non-seeking (split from Master Sheng Yen resources topic)

Post by fuki » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:53 pm

Fruitzilla wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:57 pm
Funny, I just found a documentary about Charlotte Joko Beck this weekend where she goes into this question. She does add a bit about growing up in it though, which I also think is really needed before going into all the non-seeking, everything is one stuff.

Here it is:
In the traditional way of teaching Zen, called Shikantaza, or just simply to sit, that's what it means: just sitting, there's not the emphasis on relating the physical experience to the mental monkey shines. It's when they come together that the personality and the person begin to integrate. You can sit in a very clear awareness without having any awareness of yourself and the sort of things you really would like to think about.

So, it's when you have denied nothing and let it all sit in there it comes together. That seems to be the maturing factor of sitting. Not forever, eventually that becomes very easy, but until you've done that, the next layer of sitting can't show up. Until you're largely free of your personal ambition you might say. For your own life to go well, or for your children's life to go well.

All that stuff we think we have to do, it stands in the way. That doesn't mean you don't take care of your children, but you don't have a life as an ambitious project.
Thanks for sharing, reminds me of John Lennon when he sang; “Life is what happens to you, while you're busy making other plans.”

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
~John Lennon
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Re: A question on non-seeking (split from Master Sheng Yen resources topic)

Post by guo gu » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:26 pm

bokki wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:48 pm
oohh,

What I am unable to accomplish in this lifetime,
I vow to push forward through countless future lives;
what I am unable to accomplish personally,
I appeal to everyone to undertake together.

— Master Sheng Yen (1930-2009)
:bow2:
does any1 want to say something about non seeking?
specifically, about non seeking shikantaza?
i suppose its something like seeking is non seeking is seeking..
just curious, how far some interesting word configurations can go..
[/quote]


bokki,
not seeking is aimed for quench the thirst of vexations. aspiration or encouragement to practice is aimed for laziness or complacency. don't mix up the two! but in placing shikantaza in this context shows that you don't understand what practice is... or maybe want to stir up some waves?

jundo,
your comments about my teacher not being a shikantaza teacher and then right after that saying the "little self" wanting to get someplace: were you describing my teacher or his teachings?

be well,
guo gu

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Re: A question on non-seeking (split from Master Sheng Yen resources topic)

Post by jundocohen » Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:58 pm

guo gu wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:26 pm

jundo,
your comments about my teacher not being a shikantaza teacher and then right after that saying the "little self" wanting to get someplace: were you describing my teacher or his teachings?
Hi Guo Gu,

I do not believe that your esteemed Teacher taught Shikantaza based on the several books and videos and many essays I have read by him, although he did Teach various Silent Illumination methods. You may correct me if I am in error.

The sentence with "little self" was not about your Teacher, but was my description of Shikantaza in general.

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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