Is Shikantaza a requisite of being a Soto Zennie?

Justmeagain
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Is Shikantaza a requisite of being a Soto Zennie?

Post by Justmeagain » Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:13 am

...or do Soto practitioners also practice Samatha and Vipassana?

Thanks,

:anjali:

Matylda
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Re: Is Shikantaza a requisite of being a Soto Zennie?

Post by Matylda » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:50 pm

Justmeagain wrote:...or do Soto practitioners also practice Samatha and Vipassana?

Thanks,

:anjali:
no.. there is no samatha or vipassana in soto.. shikan taza is number 1.. there could be other form of zazen practice including koan, but no s/v..

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Re: Is Shikantaza a requisite of being a Soto Zennie?

Post by Miroku » Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:36 pm

But isnt shikantaza a form of vipassana and shamatha? I mean it does achieve the same state and afaik it is not that much different, or is it?
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The faults within you are the ones to be exposed.
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Re: Is Shikantaza a requisite of being a Soto Zennie?

Post by Justmeagain » Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:45 pm

Miroku wrote:But isnt shikantaza a form of vipassana and shamatha? I mean it does achieve the same state and afaik it is not that much different, or is it?
Sort of what I thought. Not so much Samatha, but unless you're asleep, awareness of everything that arises and falls away is inevitable.

I think this process is seen by som Soto folks as a practice rather than a natural process that can be witnessed.

Maybe......?

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Re: Is Shikantaza a requisite of being a Soto Zennie?

Post by Astus » Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:50 pm

Justmeagain wrote:...or do Soto practitioners also practice Samatha and Vipassana?
What would it mean to be a "Soto practitioner" without actually practising it? Sounds like being a fisherman without ever fishing.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Is Shikantaza a requisite of being a Soto Zennie?

Post by DGA » Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:10 pm

Justmeagain wrote:
Miroku wrote:But isnt shikantaza a form of vipassana and shamatha? I mean it does achieve the same state and afaik it is not that much different, or is it?
Sort of what I thought. Not so much Samatha, but unless you're asleep, awareness of everything that arises and falls away is inevitable.

I think this process is seen by som Soto folks as a practice rather than a natural process that can be witnessed.

Maybe......?
Do you have a source or an example of what you are talking about?

Don't worry about "maybes" and other speculations and time-wasters. The important question here is whether you've found a teacher you can work with or not.

For the purpose of this thread, it seems to me that your question has been answered:
Matylda wrote:
no.. there is no samatha or vipassana in soto.. shikan taza is number 1.. there could be other form of zazen practice including koan, but no s/v..

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WuMing
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Re: Is Shikantaza a requisite of being a Soto Zennie?

Post by WuMing » Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:49 pm

Matylda wrote:
Justmeagain wrote:...or do Soto practitioners also practice Samatha and Vipassana?

Thanks,

:anjali:
no.. there is no samatha or vipassana in soto.. shikan taza is number 1.. there could be other form of zazen practice including koan, but no s/v..
So then, are instructions on how to practice shikan taza 只管打坐 given right from the beginning in Sōtō Zen? Isn't there any influence of Tiāntāi Zhì Yǐ 天台智顗 and his approach of zhǐguān 止観 in Sōtō Zen at all?
今以佛眼觀之佛與眾生同住解脫之床。無此無彼無二平等。
Now, observing with the eye of the Buddha, both the Buddha and ordinary beings are in the same liberated state. There is neither this nor that: there is only non-duality and identity.
- 空海 Kūkai in Unjigi 吽字義 The Meaning of the Letter Hūṃ
- Kūkai on the Philosophy of Language by Takagi Shingen and Dreitlein Eijō
_______
Śrī Singha said to Padmasambhava:
Since buddhas and sentient beings are inseparable and the same, it is necessary to respect all sentient beings as being on the same level with the buddhas. Can you?
- translated by Malcolm N. Smith

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Re: Is Shikantaza a requisite of being a Soto Zennie?

Post by Justmeagain » Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:08 pm

WuMing wrote:
Matylda wrote:
Justmeagain wrote:...or do Soto practitioners also practice Samatha and Vipassana?

Thanks,

:anjali:
no.. there is no samatha or vipassana in soto.. shikan taza is number 1.. there could be other form of zazen practice including koan, but no s/v..
So then, are instructions on how to practice shikan taza 只管打坐 given right from the beginning in Sōtō Zen? Isn't there any influence of Tiāntāi Zhì Yǐ 天台智顗 and his approach of zhǐguān 止観 in Sōtō Zen at all?

Yeah....and that too!! :broke:

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Re: Is Shikantaza a requisite of being a Soto Zennie?

Post by Justmeagain » Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:16 pm

Astus wrote:
Justmeagain wrote:...or do Soto practitioners also practice Samatha and Vipassana?
What would it mean to be a "Soto practitioner" without actually practising it? Sounds like being a fisherman without ever fishing.
Ok, well I guess thats what I was asking - is Soto Zen synonymous with Shikantaza only?

Or to put it another way, does Soto Zen factor in the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, Sattipatana, Jhana etc...I guess not.

I ask as if not this puts Soto Zen out on its own in terms of an MO (or lack of one were Shikantaza is concerned) like other schools with very specific practices like Nichiren chanting, Generation practices in Tantra and so forth.

_/|\_

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Re: Is Shikantaza a requisite of being a Soto Zennie?

Post by Astus » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:03 pm

Justmeagain wrote:is Soto Zen synonymous with Shikantaza only?
I think that depends on whom you ask. It seems to me that the mainstream answer is yes.
Or to put it another way, does Soto Zen factor in the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, Sattipatana, Jhana etc...I guess not.
Shikantaza is supposed to be a "perfect and complete" practice that includes the whole path. After all, it is the practice of enlightenment.

"The zazen I speak of is not meditation practice. It is simply the dharma gate of joyful ease, the practice-realization of totally culminated enlightenment."
(Fukanzazengi)
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

Matylda
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Re: Is Shikantaza a requisite of being a Soto Zennie?

Post by Matylda » Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:31 pm

Miroku wrote:But isnt shikantaza a form of vipassana and shamatha? I mean it does achieve the same state and afaik it is not that much different, or is it?
Of course it is different... shikan or s/v was well known to Dogen and later masters, and none of them pointed to shikan -s/v as similar to shikan taza, just opposite.

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Re: Is Shikantaza a requisite of being a Soto Zennie?

Post by Justmeagain » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:26 pm

https://opendoorzencommunity.org/wp-con ... ischer.pdf

See Norman Fischer talking about what sounds identical to Burmese style Vipassana here...

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Re: Is Shikantaza a requisite of being a Soto Zennie?

Post by DGA » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:50 pm

Justmeagain wrote:https://opendoorzencommunity.org/wp-con ... ischer.pdf

See Norman Fischer talking about what sounds identical to Burmese style Vipassana here...
Yes, it does. Fischer also uses descriptors developed by Chogyam Trungpa to explain meditation practice. But with that said...

...that is an explanation of Zazen. Are zazen and shikantaza the same?

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Re: Is Shikantaza a requisite of being a Soto Zennie?

Post by Matylda » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:21 pm

DGA wrote:
Justmeagain wrote:https://opendoorzencommunity.org/wp-con ... ischer.pdf

See Norman Fischer talking about what sounds identical to Burmese style Vipassana here...
Yes, it does. Fischer also uses descriptors developed by Chogyam Trungpa to explain meditation practice. But with that said...

...that is an explanation of Zazen. Are zazen and shikantaza the same?
This is rather non of shikan taza thing.. neither real explanation of zazen.. moreover even if one uses some oehter systems and teachers to expalin zazen it does not mean that is is real zazen instruction... I geuss there is very little of known in the West zazen instructions.. so people are forcesd to use intellectually some other available instructions unrelated to zazen..

as for zazen of course it is same as shikan taza.. there could be other zazen practices but in fact all are properly done in the way of shikan taza finally..

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Re: Is Shikantaza a requisite of being a Soto Zennie?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:46 pm

While I never got much explanation of what is shikantaza when I was involved in Zen, I will say that it basically sounds like what other teachers describe as the union of shamatha and vipaysana. If it's not, I'd love to know how/why it's different, other than the nomenclature used.
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Re: Is Shikantaza a requisite of being a Soto Zennie?

Post by rory » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:27 pm

Shikan 止観.is the meditation, that the Tendai school does; it is Shi shamatha and kan vipassana. Dogen was a Tendai monk but I have no scholarly books with me that distinguish his later 只管 shikantaza (note the different characters(.

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Re: Is Shikantaza a requisite of being a Soto Zennie?

Post by Wayfarer » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:11 am

I think it's a mistake to try and intellectualise a simple practice - 'what is it?' 'what does it do?' - and so on. Next it becomes 'what do I get from it?' and so on, all of which are self-seeking questions. As I understand it, going on Suzuki-roshi's books, and also John Daido Loori, just sitting really is just sitting. All the questions about what it means or is, are simply the arising of thought. That is what we need to beware of, and not try and complicate or elaborate it.
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Re: Is Shikantaza a requisite of being a Soto Zennie?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:29 am

Wayfarer wrote:I think it's a mistake to try and intellectualise a simple practice - 'what is it?' 'what does it do?' - and so on. Next it becomes 'what do I get from it?' and so on, all of which are self-seeking questions. As I understand it, going on Suzuki-roshi's books, and also John Daido Loori, just sitting really is just sitting. All the questions about what it means or is, are simply the arising of thought. That is what we need to beware of, and not try and complicate or elaborate it.

I disagree. what Shikantanza actually is matters quite a bit. If you don't understand what a practice does, or more accurately, what it -is-, you end up chasing romantic notions of practice, or slogans..instead of actually putting what you've studied into practice. I'm sure there are ranges of explaining such things from the crazily technical to poetic, but IMO rejecting understanding out of hand is a mistake.

There is a huge difference between wanting to understand the view of your practice, and objectifying or fetishizing it.
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Re: Is Shikantaza a requisite of being a Soto Zennie?

Post by kirtu » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:05 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:While I never got much explanation of what is shikantaza when I was involved in Zen,
Shikantaza is just sitting.
I will say that it basically sounds like what other teachers describe as the union of shamatha and vipaysana. If it's not, I'd love to know how/why it's different, other than the nomenclature used.
The issue is that in other schools shamatha has been identified and cultivated and labelled as shamatha. However in Zen generally people just say concentrate and they give methods for that principally breath counting (breath counting is provisional in Zen BTW). Later issues will come up and basically after concentration has been practiced pretty well, people will discuss their insight with their teacher. Of course this can happen on the first day.

Vipashyana is also identified and in some schools practiced directly.

These identifications and labeling do not exist within Zen.

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Re: Is Shikantaza a requisite of being a Soto Zennie?

Post by kirtu » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:10 am

Matylda wrote: as for zazen of course it is same as shikan taza.. there could be other zazen practices but in fact all are properly done in the way of shikan taza finally..
Most people take a lot of practice to get to just sitting.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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