Jundo Cohen Roshi – on clarifying Shikantaza
I am not qualified to comment on Theravadan meditation, and I am not the last word on Shikantaza. I simply say in Shikantaza to let thoughts and emotions go without grabbing on or wallowing. Although not grabbing or wallowing, let thoughts or emotions be without resistance, much as any object around you. Sit beyond all judgments of right or wrong apart from a certain “this is right” merely by the act of sitting itself. Sitting itself is the fulfillment of sitting. Sit with a subtle sense in the bones that there is no other act to do, no other place to be in all time and space in that moment of sitting. Sitting itself is a Buddha’s sitting. Gently follow the breath, or center on the posture, or in “open awareness” to place the attention (if finding oneself lost in trains of thought, return to such center again and again). Yes, one should be sit ardent and alert. Beyond that, no need to force oneself to be “mindful” or “present.” I hope that is helpful.