Thoughts and Discussion on Shikantaza Part II by Jundo Cohen Roshi.
Gerald Shou An Stewart Jundo Roshi, may I ask if i am understanding this at least partially? Shikantaza is the expression of our true nature, and as such has “no possibility of lack or excess” (Xin Xin Ming)….. So is Shikantaza this “expression”, as opposed to trying to do something? Can we say “Shikantaza is true nature being acted out in the world of form?
Jundo Cohen Hi Gerald. That resonates in my heart. And as we express this, we also embody this and bring it to life.
Gerald Shou An Stewart In saying this, it seems that many folks, having been raised in an environment of “Chasm Theology” or dualism, which teaches the separation of “spirit and matter”, need a radical reframing of reality to put their mind at rest….. or at least to stop the tug of war created by that way of seeing the “All”…….. That is what has happened to me, in any case……….. In trying to hold onto a model where true nature is not in and thru the world of form, expressing itself through it, the illusion that something needs to be done to “fix it”, just doesn’t want to go away….. Whereas seeing that what we “see on the surface” needs to be informed by the true nature expressing itself through it, seems to “fit”…… so where I began this journey fighting to rectify the illusions i found myself living in, now it seems to be coming clear that what needs to happen is for true nature to be expressed into the world of form….. i.e…. the truth coming out….. not sure how far off base i am here….. 🙂 Grateful for your teaching.
Jundo Cohen Hi Gerald. We sit with nothing to fix. However, that does not mean that there are not aspects about ourselves to fix in this Practice. So, for example, I sit accepting all things including that maybe, in some moment, I might feel a bit angry or jealous about something. For the time I am sitting, that is “just what is” and I accept. By accepting it, hopefully the anger and jealousy become just passing mental scenery and lose their fire. However, when I get up from the cushion, that does not mean that it is okay as Buddhists for us to keep being angry and jealous! That is not the meaning of “letting it be” during Zazen. After Zazen, we must do what we can to not be angry and jealous. In fact, anger and jealousy are poisons that prevent us from truly tasting the fruits of this Path. So, for that reason, there is a “nothing to fix” aspect of this practice, and a “stuff we should fix” aspect of this practice which both exist at the same time. (I hope that is kind of clear). Gassho, J