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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Zen Terms

A glossary and Zen FAQ all in one:

Q: What is the right attitude of mind during zazen?

A: That is a most important point. The three main things in zazen are posture, breathing, and attitude of mind-and correctly practiced, they lead to the very principle of zazen; hisiryo consciousness, thinking without thinking. You cannot stop thinking entirely during zazen. In fact, you think even more than usual because there are also the thoughts that come from the past. In your ordinary activities you don't pay attention to them, but during zazen you can see the thoughts coming: 'Maybe my wife is two-timing me.' 'Today I have a payment to make and I must remember to stop at the bank on my way out of the dojo.' You cannot stop your thoughts.
Some forms of meditation teach that you must not think. Others say you must think about God. You must form images of God or beautiful things or you must think about a koan or some philosophical problem.
That is not the right attitude. You cannot go on without thinking for any length of time and if you try to concentrate on just one thing, such as 'What is ku?'* or 'What is mu?'* it is very difficult. It's the same as trying to stop thinking altogether.
In Zen what you must do is let your thoughts pass by. As soon as a thought arises, let it go. If money comes, or a young lady, or sex, or food, or Buddha or God or Zen, let it go. In zazen, concentrate on your posture and let everything else go by. After a while, what is in the subconscious rises to the surface because mind can be expressed.


Blogger woundedduck said...

Since you don't post any bio info, I don't know your name, but nonetheless, this post, as well as this blog as a whole, is gold, pure gold. I would imagine most readers are those without a formal teacher, so your regular posts of concise info on proper zazen is most needed and gratefully appreciated. Thanks a million.

8:52 AM  
Blogger M said...

I am M.
That's my bio.
Anyway, thanks for the kind comments. I looked around for a site like this and couldn't find one, so I created it. Now the next time I look around for a site like this, I will find it.

There really is a ton of great Zen info on the web, some people (not me) really are spending a lot of time putting up quality content, well thought out writing. I'm just glad to share the nuggest of gold I find each day. Might as well share the wealth.

12:39 PM  

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