Only you know if you're wasting your time and on the wrong track. I think the reason most people are attracted to Zen and its sitting practice is the directness of their own experience. This is all you have, the immediacy of what is going on, to be present, alive, now. Somewhere, in the midst of this, not apart from it, is your own nature. It can be very helpful to either talk with others or study the vast Zen literature to get your focus back on why you are sitting zazen. It's not about watching yourself or getting yourself 'comfortable' with sitting. These are superficial reflections, nothing to do with Zen. For me, the sutras are there to make sure I don't go off the rails. Practicing Zen is not about reading sutras, but you can't practice Zen without confirming your own experience with the sutras.Zafutales wrote:I don't think I have articulated my question well.
My experience over the years in other traditions has meant that Shikantaza is a tangential in terms of a meditation MO. Be it Anapanasati or Mahasi noting etc... there has always been a focus of sorts with a result or aim (Jhana or Insight). My time spent in the Gelug tradition taught me that deep and active analysis into the nature of the mind was the conduit to understanding.
I struggled with all of the above methods for reasons rendering.
Then I discovered Shikantaza. Wonderful, effortless and immediate in terms of benefits as Meido suggests.
However, as it is so far from my experience and understanding of what the Buddha taught I am concerned that I might be lapsing into a self congratulatory sense of indifference and like I said, 'Zoning Out'.
Hence my question, how do I know the relative ease in which I find I can 'just sit' is not some sort of self delusion and I am in fact wasting my time?
From Zongmi On Chan:
“all instructional teaching devices inherited from the past first show the original nature and then require reliance on this nature to practice dhyana. In most cases, when the nature is not easily awakened to, it is due to the grasping of characteristics.”
Characteristics are the arising and disappearance of mind. Nature is the substance. Because you don't have direct experience of the nature, you get caught up with the movements of mind. Reverse this, and you resolve these doubts and questions you put to yourself, maybe not fully, but enough to get you past the stage that you are stuck in. Good luck.