Sunday, March 31, 2013

No Expectations

According to Zen Master Dogen, zazen (sitting meditation) is the best practice for realizing suchness, for seeing things as they are. In Shobogenzo Bendowa (A Talk About Pursuing the Truth), Dogen wrote, “According to the unmistakenly handed down tradition, this buddha-dharma which has been singularly and directly transmitted is supreme beyond comparison. From the time you begin to practice under a teacher, incense burning, bowing, nenbutsu, as well as the practices of repentance or of reading the sutras, are unnecessary. Simply practice zazen, dropping off body and mind.”

“The true practice in accordance with the Way is nothing but shikantaza,” Dogen says in the opening chapter.  of Zuimonki.  Shikantaza is a form of zazen literally meaning “just sitting.” Anything added to “just sitting,” such as “just sitting to see things as they are” or even “just sitting to drop off body and mind” is not true shikantaza; something extra has been added.  While such things may, in fact, occur, shikantaza is zazen which is practiced without expectation of any reward, even enlightenment. 

It is just being yourself, right here, right now.

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