Wednesday, May 24, 2006

8 useless precepts

1. SHOYOKU don't wish for too much
2. CHISOKU know satisfaction
3. GYOJAKUJO enjoy peace & quiet
4. GONSHOJIN apply yourself
5. FUBONEN don't give in to unconsciousness
6. SHUZENJO practice the stillness of Zazen
7. SHUCHIE practice real knowing (not knowing about)
8. FUKERON don't talk bullshit

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Sit in Lotus Dropping Off Body & Mind

To sit in the full lotus posture dropping off body and mind is to forget the self.

This is the true state of just sitting.

Usually when Zen people talk of just sitting, they are describing their experience of sitting as a blind physical act, an unconscious reaction to the thought of sitting upright. In other words, they confuse true just sitting (called SHIKAN TAZA by Zen Master Dogen), with the effort that they are quite properly taught to make, as beginners, on the basis of the physical conception.

The most fundamental teaching in Buddhism is to sit in the full lotus posture with the body, remembering oneself with body-feeling. This is the starting point, the foundation.

The opposite conception is to sit in the full lotus posture remembering oneself with mind-thinking. To sit like this is to perform a kind of somersault.

Thus can one lay the foundations for forgetting oneself in sitting itself. This is not to perform a somersault. It is to be somersaulted by sitting itself. To be swept into the vortex of the sitting biosphere. To become temporarily free of selfishness.

Sit in Lotus with the Mind

To sit in full lotus posture with the mind is the same action, based on the opposite conception.

In other words, it is, while maintaining the physical act of sitting in the full lotus posture, to endeavor to liberate the act of sitting in the full lotus posture from sitting as a blind physical reaction. It is to see oneself sitting in the full lotus posture as a blind physical reaction, and thereby to liberate one's act of sitting from this body-bound condition.

Sit in Lotus with the Body

The physical act of sitting in the full lotus posture, in an upright posture, keeping the spine straight vertically, not leaning forwards or backwards, not inclining to the left or to the right: this is the most fundamental matter in the teaching transmitted from Buddhist patriarch to Buddhist patriarch, from Gautama to Gudo.

Gudo taught me that sitting like this, keeping a regular physical posture, every day, morning and night at least, four times a day if possible, is the most important matter.

Gudo taught me further that, sitting like this, in upright physical balance, creates the optimimum conditions for the autonomic nervous system to come into balance.

I would like to preserve and clarify this teaching more and more.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Meeting Gautama

Bodily he sat in the full lotus posture.

Mentally he stopped all non-lotus striving.

Dropping off his own body and mind, he taught us

To sit in the full lotus posture,

With body, with mind, dropping off body and mind.