Monday, July 18, 2011

Be your own master

Dogen zenji says: "Think of not-thinking,
How do you think of not-thinking? Be before thinking. These are the basics of Zazen."

This means: No opposites. Zen is not a matter of thinking or of shutting out thought but of being Before Thinking. Before Thinking means to be prior to experiences in the same way that a mirror is always prior to what it shows even at the moment of showing it. We cannot be anything that we are aware of. We are always the context of whatever content arises. When we release all of our states and our avoidance and identification then we are always right there at the very moment that the  world arises, right at this pointless point. Bring together every aspect of mind, everything hidden and everything obvious, and allow each to resolve itself into the knowing of it. This is zazen, the shikan-taza of all awakened ones."  Anzan Hoshin in The Straight Path, pg. 128.

"We begin with open Awareness, we add a contraction, a holding on, and then with this pattern of contraction we build ourselves and we build the world. Basically then, self-image has only one moving part: contracting, grasping, holding on. And because self-image is always trying to hold on, there is always a sense of anxiety, because everything is always getting out of hand. Nothing can truly be held, thoughts and feelings rise and fall, sounds come and go, marriages break up, people are born and people die, civilizations rise and fall. You feel good. You feel bad.

And because you are living out a presumption of separation, every area of your life is fragmented and then hastily glued together to create a sense of continuity. One is continually trying to defend this ghost-like "I". Someone says something and one takes it as an attack and all one's defences come to bear. Someone looks at you in the wrong way, someone does not fulfil your expectations, someone expects too much of you and on and on and on"...
Anzan Hoshin in The Straight Path, pg. 122.

What's an alternative. "Be your own master. Stay in Pure Awareness. Can't maintain it? Diligently practice your Silent Illumination or your Huatou method"... Master William Tsao in a Chan teaching moment.


2. How to chan meditate:
3. Master Sheng Yen in Facebook

4. The Western Chan Fellowship at

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