Zen as Embodiment

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jundocohen
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Zen as Embodiment

Post by jundocohen » Sun Sep 20, 2020 12:27 am

Zen as Embodiment (1) - Posture Misunderstood

Over the coming days, I will be looking at common misunderstandings regarding Soto Zen as a "practice of the body" and embodiment.

We will begin today with the notion that Zazen must be sat with "perfect posture," ideally in the full or half Lotus Position. Some teachers assert that a perfectly aligned spine and graceful pose are necessary to taste the fruits of Zazen. I disagree.

What is required is sincere sitting in a reasonably balanced, stable and comfortable posture suited to what your particular body needs and allows. It may be in a Lotus Position, in the Burmese, on a Seiza bench or chair or (for those whose physical condition requires due to disability) even reclining or standing Zazen. All are fine if done with sincerity, finding a posture that is as balanced, stable and comfortable as one can sustain for the period of sitting, thus allowing one to be unconcerned with the body for the period of sitting. The best posture is the one you can just forget about because it drops from mind. You need to be your own judge, and experiment with your own body. The litmus test is that, if you find a posture or postures that feel balanced, stable and comfortable enough to allow sitting for an extended time, it is probably a very good posture. If one sits with such sincerity, then it is "perfect sitting" even if from outside appearances the posture is not going to win any prize for beauty.

A balanced, stable and comfortable posture is supportive of a balanced and stable mind, but it is not strictly necessary in all cases either. In fact, if someone's health condition makes it difficult to be comfortable, but one accepts with equanimity (and even welcome) the sometime discomfort and need to frequently move or moan, then it is unmoving, quiet, "perfect" sitting even if far from still, with moans and mumbles in the face of pain. The mouth and limbs may need to cry or move, and time might be spent massaging an aching limb, but if the heart is still and calm even though the rest of the body isn't, and even if part of you is far from happy, it is always "perfect sitting." Perfectly imperfect jewel-like sitting.

Oh, if new to sitting, one should stretch the body a bit, try some stretches or give the body time, and not give in too easily to really bad posture. It takes awhile for the muscles to stretch for the beginner, so what looks hard just takes some acclimating. However, I no longer think that the Lotus Postures are particularly special.

In the Buddha's day and in Dogen's, just as today, there were certainly people whose health and body did not allow sitting like a work of art. If your heart is sincere in sitting in the way your body allows, then that sitting is perfect sitting, it's own work of art.

Gassho, J

avisitor
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Re: Zen as Embodiment

Post by avisitor » Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:14 am

In the Japanese Zendo, there is a man who walks among those sitting.
He watches as the posture of sitters begin to show signs of fatigue.
Then he uses his Keisaku or Kyosaku to tap the shoulder of those who show the signs.
Then, he gives them a wack on each shoulder.
This is done as encouragement to continue sitting.
Although one says that posture is misunderstood, it does seem to be somewhat important.
Not so much the effort that is afforded during the sitting
Rather the quality of the sitting itself where the signs are seen in the posture.
This is not to say that perfect posture is required or even necessary

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Re: Zen as Embodiment

Post by jundocohen » Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:19 am

avisitor wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:14 am
In the Japanese Zendo, there is a man who walks among those sitting.
He watches as the posture of sitters begin to show signs of fatigue.
Then he uses his Keisaku or Kyosaku to tap the shoulder of those who show the signs.
Then, he gives them a wack on each shoulder.
This is done as encouragement to continue sitting.
Although one says that posture is misunderstood, it does seem to be somewhat important.
Not so much the effort that is afforded during the sitting
Rather the quality of the sitting itself where the signs are seen in the posture.
This is not to say that perfect posture is required or even necessary
Many in the Japanese temples can be "one size fits all" posture fascists.

Gassho, J

avisitor
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Re: Zen as Embodiment

Post by avisitor » Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:27 am

jundocohen wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:19 am
Many in the Japanese temples can be "one size fits all" posture fascists.

Gassho, J
Sort of like "Do Shikantaza my way or it is not really Shikantaza"???

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Re: Zen as Embodiment

Post by jundocohen » Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:58 am

avisitor wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:27 am
jundocohen wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:19 am
Many in the Japanese temples can be "one size fits all" posture fascists.

Gassho, J
Sort of like "Do Shikantaza my way or it is not really Shikantaza"???
Exactly.

I am a Shikantaza advocate, and I recommend a certain way of sitting Shikantaza ...

... but I do not claim to be the last word on Shikantaza (or posture) or the final voice, believe that there are many good ways of meditation, and even think that Buddhism may not be right for everybody. There are many good ways, suited to different bodies and minds.

In fact, I know many folks who may need and benefit from training in a "posture fascistic" regime, the kind who need boot camp and to be hit hard with a stick.

Gassho, J

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Re: Zen as Embodiment

Post by jundocohen » Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:57 am

Zen as Embodiment (2) - Buddha 'Sitting' Buddha

A key facet of Shikantaza, often much too underplayed in many "How to Sit" instructions, is that traditional Shikantaza has aspects of visualization and embodiment practice, not unlike those Tibetan practices of visualizing oneself as a Buddha - thus to embody the qualities of a Buddha.

Shikantaza is partially a visualization exercise, what Soto Priest and historian Taigen Dan Leighton has called an "enactment ritual" (https://terebess.hu/zen/szoto/Leighton- ... Ritual.pdf), an assuming of the role of "Buddha" in which one feels - deep in the bones - that one is fully embodying the peace, fulfilment and equanimity of a Buddha sitting under the Bodhi tree ... thus eventually coming to feel profoundly the "no gaining mind, nothing more to attain" peace, fulfilment and equanimity that the sitter is first pretending like an actor to feel.

The logic behind such an approach is easy to understand: In modern terms, one "method acts" the power of a Buddha sitting, the sensation of freedom from conflict and release from tensions that one imagines a Buddha would feel, and the softening of the hard borders of "self" and "non-self," thus bringing to life the power of a Buddha sitting, soon creating the actual experience of freedom from conflict and friction, summoning an actual softening or dropping of 'self vs. other.'

Now, please don't misunderstand: In Soto style Shikantaza, we do not generally visualize the actual image of a "Buddha" as overtly as the Tibetans do in their practices in which the Lamas begin by picturing a Buddha image within their mind, depicting all of a Buddha's physical aspects and qualities (although in my understanding, they do eventually drop away the image, leaving only the feelings of embodiment behind). Rather, in Shikantaza, this "bringing Buddha to life" through the act of Zazen is implicit and assumed as inherent in the action, subtly felt but unvoiced, an "embodying Buddha and all Buddha qualities" fully trusted deep, deep in the marrow of the bones as an absolute given, thus without need to ponder or keep as an idea before us. In fact, our feeling of embodiment serves simply as the unshakeable foundation upon which rests all the other vital aspects of Shikantaza typically found in the "How to Sit" instructions and not to be neglected, such as not "pondering" or latching on to anything at all, our letting thoughts go without becoming entangled, centering on the breath or body or "open awareness," sitting with no goal and nothing left to attain but sitting, sitting fulfilled merely by sitting.

In this way, the often heard descriptions of sitting Zazen with "nothing to attain, no other place to be, nothing lacking" is now known as nothing other than the experience of a Buddha sitting under the Bodhi Tree, experiencing union with the completion of the Morning Star's shining, thus the Buddha's realization of nothing more to attain, no other place to go, nothing lacking. Yes, Buddha is star is shining is tree is ground is just us, and we are just so. When we sit Shikantaza, we naturally assume (with deep faith in our hearts, not needing to say it in so many words) that this is what we have become merely by sitting, that all the Buddhas and Ancestors are alive on the very cushion of our sitting, thoroughly so just by our act of sitting.

Now, more secular and "down to earth" sitters don't have to be put off by all this talk of "summoning Buddhas" and "faith" and the like, because it is really a psychological practice at heart: It is not unlike what Olympic divers may do in visualizing and embodying the form of a "perfect dive" before they leap. My friend, a Zen practitioner and Broadway actor, has compared Shikantaza to his "assuming the role of Hamlet, with all the qualities of Hamlet, until one actually becomes Hamlet and Hamlet comes to life in the flesh."

Further, as we discussed in our last installment of this "Zen as Embodiment" series, there is no need to be too hung up on the fact that we say "sitting" is Buddha. It is true that Master Dogen often said that "sitting in the Lotus Posture" is the sitting of a Buddha, but I feel it is fine to say that any sincere sitting (or reclining or standing if needed due to health) is "Buddha," because it is the sincere and dedicated act, not the posture itself, that is what counts. Further, when we take the attitude of "Shikantaza" off the cushion, all our daily actions such as tending our children, cutting the grass, driving down the road, become so too: Buddha tending Buddha, Buddha cutting Buddha, Buddha driving Buddha. I look forward to seeing some of our artists carve modern Buddha Statues of Gautama on a seiza bench or in a chair, just as beautiful as the Full Lotus or Burmese poses seen in traditional art.

Master Dogen emphasized throughout his writings that Zazen is "Buddha Sitting Buddha." We don't give such declarations the weight they deserve. In Fukanzazengi, he declared, "If you want to attain just this, immediately practice just this. ... Practice thusness continuously, and you will be thus." In Bendowa:

"[Even] the idea of 'a moment of sitting is itself the Buddha Dharma' is but a reflection in a mirror. Do not be concerned with the splendor of the words. By showing the buddha ancestors’ excellent way of direct transmission, I am just recommending the practice of the immediate realization of enlightenment, hoping that you will become a true practitioner of the way ... Instead, sit zazen wholeheartedly, conform to the buddha form and let go of all things. Then, leaping beyond the boundary of delusion and enlightenment, free from the paths of ordinary and sacred, unconstrained by ordinary thinking, immediately wander at ease, enriched with great enlightenment. When you practice in this way, how can those who are concerned with the traps and snares of words and letters be compared with you?"

So, try sitting with a subtle, unvoiced, thorough trust deep in the bones, "This Sitting is a Buddha brought to life, nothing lacking," this is "Buddha 'sitting' Buddha," in fact, "Buddha Buddha-ing Buddha."

Then, letting go of even such thoughts and any thoughts ... sitting (standing or reclining) as one's body needs ...

... Just Sit.

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Re: Zen as Embodiment

Post by jundocohen » Sun Sep 27, 2020 1:25 am

Zen as Embodiment (3) - One for All, All for One

A moment of Zazen is all things and everything and more.

Usually, we think of a world of separate things, for example, an "ant" and a "mountain." The little ant may crawl along or within the huge mountain, but the ant is not the mountain, the mountain is not the ant. Yet Master Dogen, the other great Zen teachers, and the Tendai and Huayan Buddhist masters who came before them, knew the interflowing, wholly-holding, complete embodying and interidentity of all things and moments.

To wit, the ant and mountain not only just interconnect, not only somehow interrelate, not only sometimes work together although remaining separate things, but the ant fully holds the entire mountain (the whole universe and whatever is beyond that, in fact) effortlessly within its tiny body down to the last mountainy grain of dust, and moreover, --is-- the mountain just as the mountain --is-- the ant (the whole universe and all beyond, in fact) in most literal sense, and all fully merges as, is totally held within and --is-- precisely sitting zazen. Every "thing" is everything, is all things, is one action that is all actions and all stillness, which is every moment and all moments while measureless and timeless too ... all people, plants, every star and atom, all events, each half second or endless expanse of time, the kitchen sink, the plumber and then some, each, all and each other ... all embodied to the last drop in each single moment that is all moments of timeless still-yet-flowing zazen sitting.

Do we sufficiently emphasize this state, so key to Shikantaza (key to understanding Master Dogen's wild teachings no less) in our "How to Sit" instructions? Do we merely pay it lip service, before returning to little more than sitting and following the breath?

Yes, it is hard to get our heads around, and seems to go against our common sense experience of the world, its separate things and passing time (some modern scientific ideas of a "holographic" universe in which every bit holds all bits are tantalizingly close to such a model). It is just another aspect of our practice that we should trust in until we can start to taste it, embody it. Much as our sitting embodies the Buddha, all Buddhas and Ancestors, sitting at rest under the Bodhi Tree in wholeness and completion (I discussed this in the last installment of this "Zen as Embodiment" series), a fact we may not fully experience at the outset of our practice, we must sit fully trusting that our sitting fully embodies and expresses all things, everything, every moment wholly in each moment of our own sitting here on this cushion. Then, perhaps, as the hard borders of 'self and other' soften or drop away, one may actually experience so.

As well, this "I am you and we are they" expressed within our sitting is both the root of Compassion, and the means by which our little sitting, so finite, actually "saves all the numberless sentient beings" as we save our selfless self. (More about that next time).

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Re: Zen as Embodiment

Post by jundocohen » Thu Oct 01, 2020 6:05 am

Zen as Embodiment (4) - i am you and we are they

We undertake Bodhisattva Vows to "save all sentient beings, though beings numberless." It seems an impossible task.

And yet, every instant of our own zazen saves all sentient beings, immediately and to the very last one. How?

A single zazen sitting embodies all people, places and things, every creature near or far, each moment and all timeless time, all else which is nothing else held within this sitting, and our sitting just all of that. Nothing is left out, all is embodied in wholeness, whereby i am you and we are they and all of them.

I am thusness, and you are thusness, and they are thusness ... and thusness is thusness ... so this sitting thusness is all thusness.

And so, our own saving of ourself on the zazen cushion saves all people, places, things, creatures, grasses and galaxies, here and there and all the rest. What happens to us happens to all.

And we save ourself and save all the rest in the realization, embodied in zazen, that there never were separate people, places, things, creatures, no separate any of it ... no separate ourself too ... from the startless-start, thus nobody and no thing to save, nor any lack in the wholeness, no coming or going, thus no danger or death or deprivation to be saved from. It is true, and nothing ever in need of doing, nobody to do it, nobody to do it to, this job already done.

Yet Zen folks do not know reality in only one way, thus there is still much work of rescue to do, and the job is far from done. Why?

Because, while there are no people, places, things, creatures and all the rest ... there certainly are! And the sentient ones among the people and creatures do not know this fact that the job is done, are lost in a world of separation, gain and lack, birth and death ... so it's our job to show em.

Thus our work is to guide the sentient beings to know, as we know, that there is no sentient being, no death, no lack ... even as we all continue living in this world of sentient beings, creatures, things, places, time, death and lack. A Bodhisattva's Compassion is to open such Wisdom to all those suffering in the ignorance of division and lack.

Thus our task is to save the sentient beings, although no beings to save ... because there are still beings to save ... all by experiencing this fact that there are-not-are beings-no-beings to save-without saving.

But that is not all ... because while there is nothing lacking, no death (no birth either), no sickness nor body to be sick ... yet there are still hungry children in this world, those dying or knowing grief at another's death, fear, diseases and poverty. This is yet another truth which Zen folks simultaneously know.

In the gentle Compassion realized in zazen, we personally empathize with all the hungry stomachs, broken hearts, scared children and ailing bodies of this world for i am you and we are but they.

Therefore rising up from the cushion, though there are no sentient beings, no children, no hunger and all the rest ... yet there are ... so let us feed the hungry, nurse the dying, befriend the grieving, comfort the frightened children, cure the disease, end the war, and raise the poor out of poverty.

A timeless moment of zazen embodies all of this, at once, as one, in each inch of our sitting and in each moment of our acting.

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Re: Zen as Embodiment

Post by desertwoodworker » Sun Oct 04, 2020 11:54 pm

Be as good a yogi as you can, and don't accept substitutes of "good-enuf". One must always break new ground. Even Farmers do this.

"Bullshit!", to those who say that one can be easy on oneself. There is no such ...self! Wake up to this! (today, why don't cha). At least pretend, at first.

There you go... . Suck it up. Push it out.

It gets better from here.

Suddenly, ...it will get BEST. You'll SEE!

This takes a lot of right-companionship. Be sure to have a teacher and sangha.

:namaste:

--Joe

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Re: Zen as Embodiment

Post by jundocohen » Tue Oct 06, 2020 3:41 am

Zen as Embodiment (5) - All the Time Zazen

One sits Zazen with the sense, deep in the bones, that each single instant of Zazen embodies all time, all times and every time.

While sitting Zazen, "past" flows into "future," "future" flows into "past," now flows into then and then is just precisely now, all embodied within this moment of Zazen as the "Grand Central Station" where all tracks meet!

No less, this Zazen embodies all the happy times and sad times too, whatever happened long ago that we cry over or long for, whatever we hope or fear might come tomorrow ... all cherished, all held in equanimity.

Further, one moment holds each moment holds all moments within every moment.

All this, held naturally and without a thought inside every passing second of Zazen.

As well, Zazen is beyond all measure, free of all moments. So, please stop all judgements and time counting. Please give up thinking that "long" sitting is better than "short," that "good" moments are better than "bad" moments of sitting. Although we sit for a certain number of minutes each day as fulfilment of a vow, and we hope for pleasant conditions, it is vital that we simultaneously drop all measures from mind, put the clock completely down, stop weighing "good vs. bad" ... for each single sitting of Zazen is perfectly just what it is. There is no "before" or "after," "better" or "worse" than this razor's edge, tip of a pin of Zazen.

Even so, sometimes we sit various lengths, we set the timer, sometimes for a few minutes, for hours, sometimes for days on end at Sesshin, for each experience is unique, offering its own panorama, it's own time just what it is. This was Master Dogen's feeling of "Being-Time," with each thing, all things, each instant and all instants its own unique flavor of being in its own precious time, all swallowed up and held within Zazen and all our lifetime. Being-time is embodied-time, embodied-being.

Then, dropping all thought of "before" vs. "after," and even dropping all thought of "now" ... just sit, beyond and through all sense or measure of time. This timeless is embodied in every drop of Zazen, deep in the bones. The time of Zazen does not tick away even as it flows. A spark's flash of Zazen or 10,000 years of Zazen are just the same, yet we sit right on time each time for a certain time.

I do not mean not to use a clock. I use a clock for most sittings (sometimes not). I mean that clock or no clock, Zazen is all times and timeless beyond measure.

It is vital that our "How to Sit" instructions in expressing Shikantaza not neglect this all times, every time, each time, just what it is time and timeless embodied in the timeless times of sitting. Each sitting is the right time, and each time is right sitting, all right timeless too.

Sorry for taking up your valuable time.

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Re: Zen as Embodiment

Post by jundocohen » Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:41 am

Zen as Embodiment (6) - All the World's Suffering

A moment of Zazen, without our doing more, without need for a thought ...


... inhales and embodies all the suffering of the world, not merely our own, but that of all sentient beings everywhere ...


... all the ego and anger, war and violence, divided thinking, grudges, addictions, excess ambitions, rabid need to dominate, dishonesty,

manipulation, stinginess, pessimism, hostility, abuse, degradation, sexual harming, humiliation, jealousy, gluttony, cruelty, unkindness, indifference, rage, hard-heartedness, vindictiveness, prejudice, hypocrisy, mercilessness and all the rest ... the hungry children, the homeless, the oppression and injustice, the warming planet, the disease and wars ...

.
... and without any doing or need for thought ... from the still still point at the center ...
.
... embodies and exhales the medicine for all the suffering of the world ...

.
... exhaling selflessness and calm, peace and friendship, union, agreement, equanimity, satisfaction, cooperation, honesty, harmony, generosity, optimism, fraternity, helpfulness, appreciation, love, respect, honor, healthful consumption, sympathy, kindness, caring, ease, soft-heartedness, forgiveness, fairness, truthfulness, mercy ... feeding the children, providing safe homes, offering freedom and justice, nurturing the planet, treating the disease, ending the war.

.
Then, getting up from the cushion, it is time to get busy, to think and do again ... ... in every thought, word and act, bringing to life and making real all the selflessness and calm, peace and friendship ... cooperation, honesty and harmony ... healthful consumption, sympathy and kindness, and all the rest ... working hard together to feed the hungry, house the poor, reform social injustices, clean the planet, cure the disease and end all war.
.
.
This is our Zazen practice, on and off the cushion.
.
.
.
(An image of a Buddha Statue from a Zen temple in Hiroshima, partially melted during the atomic bombing)
https://www.bu.edu/art/files/2015/07/Me ... -image.jpg

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Re: Zen as Embodiment

Post by Crystal » Fri Oct 09, 2020 12:44 pm

desertwoodworker wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 11:54 pm

This takes a lot of right-companionship. Be sure to have a teacher and sangha.

:namaste:

--Joe
Dear Joe,

Alas, its not so easy for people to snuggle up with a teacher-guided sangha (or indeed with anyone!) in these difficult times of a global pandemic.


_/|\_

.

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Re: Zen as Embodiment

Post by desertwoodworker » Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:53 am

Surely, Crystal, tnx.

When the time comes, consider it; or continue your well-established pre-association, of course, with Teacher and Sangha.

Virus or not, your Teacher is your asset. Sangha, too.

Strong practice!,

--Joe
Crystal wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 12:44 pm
desertwoodworker wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 11:54 pm

This takes a lot of right-companionship. Be sure to have a teacher and sangha.

:namaste:

--Joe
Dear Joe,

Alas, its not so easy for people to snuggle up with a teacher-guided sangha (or indeed with anyone!) in these difficult times of a global pandemic.


_/|\_

.

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Re: Zen as Embodiment

Post by jundocohen » Wed Oct 14, 2020 6:18 am

Zen as Embodiment (7) - Of the Body, Of the Mind

Master Dogen wrote, "There is just sitting with the mind, which is not the same as just sitting with the body. There is just sitting with the body, which is not the same as just sitting with the mind. And there is just sitting that is free of body and mind, which is not the same as “just sitting that is free of body and mind." (from Zanmai o Zanmai). What might this mean?

Zen folks typically speak of "body and mind," or simply bodymind, with body and mind as an integrated whole. Zazen is not a practice of the mind alone, nor a practice of the body alone, with the two mutually supporting and inseparable. We say 身心一如, literally body (身) and heart/mind (心) one and the same (一如). However, in my experience with many practitioners, I believe that some folks lean more toward Zazen as a mental practice, some more toward Zazen as a body practice, although neither should be truly neglected. What do I mean?

"Zazen of the mind" refers to such aspects as not investigating words or chasing thoughts, leaving aside the turning wheels of intellect and consciousness, putting down weighing, ideas and views, sitting goallessly, all as described in Dogen's "How To Sit" instructions such as Fukanzazengi. It is very much a mental experience of being untangled. It is also Zen sitting with a subtle sense of all time and space and all reality embodied in sitting, just as we have touched on in previous installments of this series. .

"Zazen of the body" means the aspect in which we pour ourself into the physical posture of sitting in as balanced, stable and comfortable a posing as we can, just letting the body do its thing, the breathing breathe, nothing to think about and all absorbed in the form and graceful activity of sitting.

In fact, both poles come together in Zazen, such that effortlessly releasing oneself into the body, and effortlessly letting thoughts go, are two sides of a single Zazen coin. However, I do think that sitters, by personal temperament, may often favor more one facet over the other.

This was shown to me in talking with many sitters (such as my own teacher, Nishijima Roshi) who would compare the physical sensations of Zazen to long distance running, or dancing, of martial arts Kata, or other like physical, often repetitive activities, in which one may experience the body just "taking over," great reliance on body memory without particular effort, the rhythm of breathing, physical balance and ease discovered in the activity, often being "in the zone" and such. Practitioners who tend to such way are often heard to say that Zazen is "primarily a practice of the body" in their view. Other practitioners may experience more the mental equanimity, acceptance and detachment from tangled thoughts of the psychological aspect. They may savor the mental release, equanimity and freedom from intellectualizing more, and the insights of Wisdom. Still other practitioners may swing between or balance all such aspects.

In fact, I believe that neither kind of practitioner is wrong regarding the flavor of Shikantaza they sit, and it is just personal predilection. The body folks may tend to be a bit more athletic, active, physical, slightly less "idea oriented" perhaps. The sitters who emphasize more the mental aspect may be a bit more "in their heads," intellectual, philosophical types perhaps. (This is just my own whimsy and thought, and I don't think it always so "black & white" actually.)

But neither is "wrong" in whichever flavor of Shikantaza they benefit from more. In fact, Zazen is always a combination of the body aspect and the mind aspect together, although in varying degrees, perhaps sometimes more one than the other for a particular person or on a particular day, but always a union of both. We sit in a posture and yield to it, we drop thoughts and mental entanglements. We taste all of reality flowing in and out of our sitting. Furthermore, Master Dogen and our Soto way also emphasize so many other physical activities as "moving Zazen," such as walking Kinhin, vigorous cleaning, flowing ceremonies, calligraphy, tea ritual, gardening and general labor. One pours one's "self" into the action, all to lose the "self" and find the flowing energy and wholeness of one's true self again.

The end result is "dropping both body and mind," the "being free of bodymind" that Master Dogen next mentions, and which will be our topic next time.





(The Kanji for, Shinjin, "Body - Mind," in Master Dogen's own calligraphy of Fukanzazengi)

https://web.archive.org/web/20190428232 ... mind_0.jpg

Gassho, J

STLah

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Re: Zen as Embodiment

Post by desertwoodworker » Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:48 am

Sure, there's lots to be said about the Soto bottom line, and the Dogen way as he presents/presented it.

Enuf. Too much.

It's all front-loading. Best just to practice. Even in a Soto sangha, just practice. Dogen's got nothing over the living.

Embodiment is good for dropping body and mind, as Dogen did in China. It's miraculous, yes, and fundamentally Human, and has nothing to do with Dogen, or Soto. In addition to what all else you need, you need a good bit of luck.

May you and we all drop body and mind. At least once. For a good long time.

Well, there is no mind, anyway, just the illusion of something like that. Don't be misled.

As for body, well, there is certainly body. It's just that it's not ...YOURS! In that, there is no "you", as the false mind of samsara conceives habitually of a you, or me, or I. Don't buy into it. Or if you did, get a refund.

Still "you" gotta pay your taxes. Don't be misled! Governments insist there's a "you". Play along. Keep safe that way.

:namaste: ,

--Joe

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Re: Zen as Embodiment

Post by Crystal » Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:05 pm

desertwoodworker wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:53 am

Virus or not, your Teacher is your asset. Sangha, too.

Strong practice!,

--Joe
Unfortunately my teacher died and then I lost touch with that sangha, which wasn't anywhere near to where I live. However, I still remember my teacher's instructions and continue to practice.

Stay safe & well.

~ Crystal.

_/|\_

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avisitor
Posts: 167
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2020 2:01 am

Re: Zen as Embodiment

Post by avisitor » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:50 pm

Crystal wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:05 pm
Unfortunately my teacher died and then I lost touch with that sangha, which wasn't anywhere near to where I live. However, I still remember my teacher's instructions and continue to practice.

Stay safe & well.

~ Crystal.

_/|\_

.
Am sorry for your lost.
It is difficult to walk a straight line in the dessert when the travel is quite a distance

Stay healthy, happy and safe

User avatar
Crystal
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2020 10:12 pm

Re: Zen as Embodiment

Post by Crystal » Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:19 pm

avisitor wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:50 pm
Crystal wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:05 pm
Unfortunately my teacher died and then I lost touch with that sangha, which wasn't anywhere near to where I live. However, I still remember my teacher's instructions and continue to practice.

Stay safe & well.

~ Crystal.

_/|\_

.
Am sorry for your lost.
It is difficult to walk a straight line in the dessert when the travel is quite a distance

Stay healthy, happy and safe

Thank you for your kind words.


_/|\_


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