… by dropping all need and effort to attain enlightenment …
It is often said that our Shikantaza way is about “not seeking“, being “goalless“, abandoning the need and search for “enlightenment” …
It is also said that, in “just sitting,” we best drop all desire to be peaceful … happy … and just allow the world “as it is” (which includes our often being anything but peaceful and happy) …
But let me get on my soapbox and makes some things clear, set all straight:
Who ever said that there is “nothing to find” in, through and as this practice of “not seeking“, no place to “get”, no treasure to snare at the end of the rainbow?
Not me. I never would say such a silly thing. Then why pursue this path?
Who ever said there is no “enlightenment” to be achieved? I never would say that. It would not be Buddhism in that case.
Ya really got to pay attention to what is being said. You see:
Just because we are “not seeking” does not mean we are “not seeking” … nor that there aren’t wondrous marvels thus to find!
To the marrow sitting free of seeking … is a dandy way thus to find that which can only be found by sitting radically free of seeking. Realizing that there is no where to “get to”, and no place you can get or need get … is finally getting somewhere that will revolutionize life, and put your “you” out of a job. One gets very far, one finally arrives … by sitting still.
the “Buddha” all along, and having not a thing about you that is in
need of change … that does not mean you don’t have some work to do to
realize truly that you are the Buddha without need of change. To
realize that you are never, from the outset, in need of change is a
VERY BIG CHANGE! There is absolutely nothing about you and the universe
(not two) to add or take away, and tasting that there is “nothing to
add” is an irreplaceably important addition!
By being “goalless” we hit the goal … a goal which is hit by being thoroughly goalless.
seeing the ordinary as sacred … we find (as Hakuin Zenji wrote) “this
earth where we stand is the Pure Lotus Land, and this very body the
body of Buddha”. This very life is it!
Yes, the key is “not me”
… because that “me” is a trouble maker of frictions with the “not me”
world. But depriving the “me” of its fuel, dropping body-mind, the
friction vanishes. The way to “drop body-mind” is to drop all thought
of achievement of “dropping body-mind” and all other need for
achievement … which results in a very major achievement, namely, the
“dropping of body-mind.”
And, yes, finally … this practice
makes me happy, joyful, deep down and pervading. It is an abiding
happiness and joy at a life in which I do not need to, and will not,
feel happy and joyful all or much of the time. And that makes me happy!
It is a Peace which sweeps in all peace and war, is at home with all
… at peace in, as and with a life that is oftimes anything but
peaceful, thus True Peace.
See how that all works?
For more details on this wacky, crazy, Koany, Zenny way of inside out, Alice through the looking glassness … the BRILLIANCE of our path of “Non-attaining” …
“Shikantaza” Zen practice is a radical, to the marrow, dropping of the self’s demands that something needs to be attained to make this world “right”, that something must be added or removed from our lives to make life complete, that something is defective and needs to be changed., that we need to get some place to find our “True Home”.
HOWEVER, radically dropping, to the marrow all need to attain, add or remove, or change in order to make life right and complete –IS– A WONDROUS ATTAINMENT, ADDITION and CHANGE TO LIFE!
Dropping all need to “get somewhere” is truly finally GETTING
SOMEWHERE! The True Home is here and everywhere! Abandoning all need in
life’s race to cross some finish line over a distant hill, is simply
arriving at the finish line which is our every step!
GOT HOW THAT WORKS?
All of that is dropped from mind … with other related clutter and clatter like thoughts of this and that, self and other … and, in doing so, the body-mind of self (being out of a job) drops away too!
Of course, this must NOT be understood merely intellectually, and instead actually made the living practice of our life … thus, all that Zazen! Chasing that which cannot be chased, attaining that which need not and cannot be attained.
someone has also rightly pointed out that Zen is not a solution to many
of life’s problems. Zazen is not a “self help tool”. It will not let
you avoid growing old, cure your cancer, repair your broken marriage,
or even fix your flat tire. It will not add one thing to your life, nor
make any improvement in it whatsoever.
And realizing that is
instantly a solution to all your problems … because they are not
problems when you do not resist them as problems, and when all
separation of “me” from “them” drops away.
… body-mind is dropped away when all resistance to life is dropped away … putting the self on the shelf …
PS – No video today …