Dan74 wrote: Just sitting is very simple, but can you "just sit"?
mikenz66 wrote:I've been working my way through Patrick Kearney's retreat talks which used to be here:
http://www.dharmasalon.net/Audio/Bodhi% ... _2011.html
[unfortunately only the introductory talk is now there.]
Bodhi Tree 2011
Talks given at the Bodhi Tree Meditation Centre, September 2011
Among various other interesting things [followers of this thread: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=13538 may be interested to hear how many times he reminds the retreatants that sati involves memory...], he make some remarks about the connection between Burmese Vipassana (he teaches basically Mahasi style) and Shikantaza (he started in Zen a long time ago).
As some Mahasi practitioners will recall, as one gets more adept with following rising-falling of the abdomen, etc, and builds up some concentration there tend to be gaps visible between in and out breaths. And the usual instruction is to note "sitting" and/or "touching" in that space. And sometimes just the "sitting" and/or the "touching".
Now "sitting" from the Mahasi POV means observing wind element (which is what is holding the body up), but one can also think of it as a kind of whole-body-awareness. And this is the parallel Patrick draws with Shikantaza - sitting very aware of the posture (and keeping the exactly correct posture). As others have suggested on the various Zen/Theravada meditation threads, and as Patrick notes, Shikantaza would be a rather advanced practice from the Mahasi POV. Without the preparatory work of following objects such as rising-falling, which builds up mindfulness and concentration, "just sitting" and paying attention to the posture is quite difficult.
[This discussion, and other remarks about how various Burmese schools teach paying attention to the whole body also suggests that the Mahasi and Goenka/U Ban Kihn approaches that happen to have become well-known elsewhere are just part of a whole spectrum of approaches, and are therefore not as separate as one might think from just examining the beginners instructions of both approaches.]
Dan74 wrote:My understanding is that in Vipassana tradition, the focus is important to take the meditation deeper and not slacken off. While shikantaza is done when the meditator has sufficient momentum from the deep glimpse of emptiness/anatta and it is more about cultivating this radiant emptiness, dissolving all conditioning and extending the unconditioned into every aspect of the practitioner's life.
Dan74 wrote:The danger is perhaps that the Vipassana practitioner stays too focused on the object until the mind manufactures objects to keep the practitioner occupied.
Dan74 wrote:And that the shikantaza practitioner sinks into a stupor-like objectless state and gets stuck there. Leaves, branches, trees and the whole forest - it's all essential and we should not lose sight of any part of it in favour of another.
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests