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Old 10-04-2012, 09:27 AM   #112
Chris Evans
Location: Berkeley, CA.
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 169
Smile Re: Zazen necessary for training

Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
I trained in the breath counting method in a Rinzai zen dojo (I believe this method is used in Rinzai not in Soto?), and they never insisted on that. That strikes me as being counterproductive.

As Mary intimated, I think you really have to find your own meditative doorway. It may be zen or it may be something else. I would just give the advice that you should initally gain a grounding in an authentic tradition.
Not being able to stop-thinking makes us alive and perfectly healthy, but being able to let thoughts pass by makes our mind more perceptive.

There are many ways to waste time in pursuit of meditation training or, even worse, ways to get further deluded or get our mind stuck on something harmful.

Even Japan's Bankei, of the Rinzai tradition, cautioned against getting attached to a contrived tool, such as koans.

Zazen or Tso-ch'an:

Honing your mind to be aware of all things, internal and external, with eyes open, while not clinging to naturally arising thoughts and maintaining useful posture and full breathing, ought to be a step in the useful direction, akin to what Siddartha had taught, which may be described as "shikantaza Zen" or "Mo-chao Ch'an 默照禪"

If a trust worthy zazen teacher is not near, then one of these two books maybe helpful:

"The Method of No-Method: The Chan Practice of Silent Illumination" by Sheng Yen

"Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" by Shunryu Suzuki

Last edited by Chris Evans : 10-04-2012 at 09:35 AM.

"The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools."
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