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What Is Zazen

From Chapter 4 ("There Are No Repetitions") of Subtle Sound: The Zen Teachings of Maurine Stuart, on not-doing:

What is zazen? Hui-neng defined zazen this way: "In the midst of all good and evil, not a thought is aroused in the mind. This is called 'za.' Seeing into one's self-nature and not being moved at all, this is called 'zen.'" We sometimes say "za" is just to sit cross-legged, but it means more than this; it means to sit with no discriminating consciousness, no dualistic activity. And "zen" is to wake up to our fundamental self, not to be disturbed by anything—just letting it come, letting it go; in-breath, out-breath; just here. Allowing the calm, deep breath to penetrate every part of the body, allowing the hara to fill up, we let go off all fixed notions. We let go of "I." We let it all fall off. We are here to discover a way of relating to one another, rather than to expound a set of doctrines. With this attitude, our sitting is receptive, alert, awake, open, so that we can hear what the silence has to say. We are letting ourselves be the vehicle for whatever teaching may come our way, not forcing or grabbing at anything.

(cf. Waiting Is (2011-01-17), Just Sitting (2011-05-21), Notice and Return (2013-03-11), Mirroring Each Other (2013-05-12), Aspiration, not Expectation (2014-12-12), Just Zazen (2017-01-29), ...) - ^z - 2017-02-11