Posted by: madhyama | March 12, 2010

Shikantaza: Just Sit.

The Soto Zen idea of meditation involves generating an awareness that is not comparing the present with something else.  Not the future, not an aspiration and not even a vision of enlightenment.  Especially not a vision of enlightenment.  This is why this meditation is called ‘shikantaza’ (pronounced she-cahn-tah-za with equal emphasis on each syllable) which means ‘just sitting’.  In the development, evolution and initiation of our spiritual basis, few are willing to just do this one, simple thing, preferring instead to strive for an ideal.  To bring meditation into one’s life and make it the foundational element of whatever form our spiritual life assumes means the effort to embody the perception of ‘just this is enough’.  ‘Just this’ is the embodiment of Suchness and ‘enough’ is the cessation of comparative thought.

This formed the sub-theme of the July 12, 2009 Sunday morning lecture at Queenswood.  The recorded segment (15min. 53sec) which is offered below is a portion of that week’s meditation instruction and responses to a couple of questions from the sangha. 


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