Posture - Really Good Posture

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Posture - Really Good Posture

Post by meindzai » Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:14 pm

As I am getting back into Zen I'm starting to re-evaluate the little nooks and crannies of my body as it relates to posture. My posture is fairly good, but could be better. It seems like for Zazen, the slightest change can make a difference. I'm interested in any thoughts people have on this subject, specifically as it relates to Zazen, and any writings you have from notable masters or teachers on the subject.

I once heard a difference described between Theravada/Vipassana type practices and Zen. Vipassana is "from the inside out." Vipassana techniques are largely about what to notice, what to pay attention too, how to overcome hindrances, etc. Zen is "from the outside in" - putting mind and body dualities aside, adopting the right posture is to adopt the right state of mind.

Dogen's Fukanzazengi:
The zazen I speak of is not learning meditation. It is simply the Dharma gate of repose and bliss, the practice-realization of totally culminated enlightenment. It is the manifestation of ultimate reality. Traps and snares can never reach it. Once its heart is grasped, you are like the dragon when he gains the water, like the tiger when she enters the mountain. For you must know that just there (in zazen) the right Dharma is manifesting itself and that, from the first, dullness and distraction are struck aside.
I was looking a a copy of of Katsuki Sekida's "Zen Training" a little while ago, which almost seems to suggest that attaining samadhi is simply a matter of getting the right posture. Interested in thoughts on this book as well.

"The Dharma is huge." - Rael

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Re: Posture - Really Good Posture

Post by Astus » Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:46 am

Carl Bielefeldt's "Dogen's Manual of Zen Meditation" is a very good work on the Chinese origins of Soto meditation manuals like the 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"

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Re: Posture - Really Good Posture

Post by White Lotus » Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:21 pm

:namaste: perfect zazen posture is to recognise that zazen is the perfect realization of mahaprajanaparamita... just as it is. it is also to realize that when not practicing zazen, that all things are zazen, making a cup of tea, cleaning the dishes, watching the tv. all of these things are perfect mahaprajanparamita... wisdom of emptiness. theres not a thing in it. its perfect.

what are you looking for in zazen? you have already found it.

best wishes, White Lotus.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.

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Re: Posture - Really Good Posture

Post by DNS » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:21 am

Roshi Kapleau's The Three Pillars of Zen is good. That goes way back and is probably considered a classic now, but one of my first books on Zen that I read and it was good as well as his sequel, Zen: Merging of East and West.

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