Thursday, 28 May 2015

it is enuf to just sit quietly (2)

"To practice zazen is Buddhism... Buddhism is to practice zazen."
"If we see practice as a means of attaining enlightenment, enlightenment will become a kind of ideal and our practice will become a kind of idealistic practice. Buddhism is not idealism. Buddhism rejects the notion that enlightenment or happiness can be realised through intellectual effort or understanding. Buddhism states that the Truth is here, and the Truth is now. Happiness exists in sincere effort at the moment of the present. Enlightenment and practice are, therefore, one and the same. If we want to study true Buddhism, we must retain this understanding. If we want to find true happiness, we must find it in work, in action, in practice - here and now. We must find it in zazen. Zazen is enlightenment itself. Zazen is Buddhism itself. Buddhism is zazen."
(To Meet the Real Dragon. GUDO WAFU NISHIJIMA. Windbell Publications, 2nd edition, 1992.)
[a personal note on the above]
i encountered this book many years ago, and was so "taken" with it, that i wrote to Nishijima Roshi. My three or four letters were each politely answered by him. However my practice these days, accords with everything except that i feel that the zazen posture is not as vital, as some zen practitioners would have it. It is enuf to just sit quietly... In this, i have been influenced a lot by the books of Toni Packer and Joan Tollifson... by Buddhists and non-Buddhists. 
i still "enjoy" returning to this book to read the chapter on Zazen. It remains a sort of inspiration... a lamp unto me, still. 
bernard hemensley
golden goji hermitage
28 / may / 2015

Thursday, 7 May 2015

it is enuf to just sit quietly (1)

"Sitting motionlessly quiet, for minutes or hours, regardless of length of time, is being in touch with the movements of the body-mind, gross and subtle, dull and clear, shallow and deep, without any opposition, resistance, grasping, or escape. It is being in intimate touch with the whole network of thoughts, sensations, feelings and emotions without judging them good or bad, right or wrong --- without wanting anything to continue or stop. It is an inward seeing without knowing, an open sensitivity to what is going on inside and out --- flowing without grasping or accumulating. Stillness in the midst of motion and com-motion, is free of will, direction, and time. It is a complete letting be of what is from moment to moment.

Awareness, insight, enlightenment, wholeness --- whatever words one may pick to label what cannot be caught in words --- is not the effect of a cause. Activity does not destroy it. It isn't a product of anything --- no technique, method, environment, tradition, posture, or nonactivity can create it. It is there, uncreated, freely functioning in wisdom and love, when self-centered conditioning is clearly revealed in all its grossness and subtleness and diffused in the light of understanding."

[Please note : in the above extract, from "THE WORK OF THIS MOMENT", i have taken the liberty of using the word "DIFFUSED" rather than "DEFUSED" - (page 61).  i trust this will elucidate Toni Packer's intended meaning. If this is incorrect, on my part, please forgive my ignorance.]

Sunday, 3 May 2015

is truth dependent on sitting?

"Maybe one will sit forever and never come upon the truth! Is truth dependent on sitting? Upon correct posture? Upon anything?
It is dependent on nothing. That's the beauty of it --- it depends on nothing. It has no cause, no method, no attainment, no preservation. What is it?
Sitting and sitting postures do not liberate --- the brain and body can become just as conditioned and programmed by this activity as by any other.
Seeing the truth liberates --- not any practice or method. Can one see the truth of what actually is taking place this instant, inside and out?"
TONI PACKER - (The Work of this Moment)