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File: 59e4031232e80f9⋯.jpg (129.17 KB, 800x533, 800:533, meditate or else.jpg)


The great 13th century Zen master Eihei Dogen taught that Zen meditation was not a means to an end, not a technique for achieving enlightenment, but that practice and realization were inseparably one and the same. Dogen said:

>Zazen is not a meditation technique. It is simply the dharma gate of joyful ease; it is practicing the realization of the boundless dharma way. Here, the open mystery manifests, and there are no more traps and snares for you to get caught in.

Over and over, Dogen emphasized that practice and realization are inseparable. This does not mean that the practice of zazen is a uniquely efficacious tool for achieving realization but that zazen itself, from the moment of our first beginner’s instruction, is the complete manifestation of the Awakened Way. This assertion, which formed the very heart of his own realization and teaching, is deeply counterintuitive when we first hear it and probably remains so for a long time thereafter. Zazen itself, the practice of just sitting, deserves to be called a koan, an expression of opposites that we are challenged to dissolve.

What do we mean by ・just sitting"? ・Sitting・ means sitting, walking, working, eating, speaking, and being silent. ・Just・ means that there is nothing in the world that is not sitting. When we speak of just sitting, we are not limiting ourselves to describing a particular posture or practice. We are describing a way of being in the world in which everything we encounter is fully and completely itself. Nothing is merely a means to an end, nothing is merely a step on the path to somewhere else. Every moment, everything, is absolutely foundational in its own right. Zazen, defined in the narrow sense as seated meditation, is but one of an infinite number of possible paradigms for this state, yet at the same time it is the unique expression of the coming together of human nature and buddhanature. But because our every action is also zazen, in Dogen’s vision of the monastic life, we ritualize every aspect of daily life, from sitting in the zendo to working in the kitchen to washing ourselves in the bathroom.



If we think of one of the central functions of the koan as being to illuminate and then deconstruct our habitual tendency to dualistic thinking in all the ways that we dichotomize our life, dualistic thinking in all the ways that we dichotomize our life, then “just sitting” becomes a way of expressing the resolution of the koan of everyday life at its most fundamental level. This is what Dogen called genjokoan, actualization in everyday life. It is in the explication of genjokoan that Dogen utters his most famous summary of life and practice:

>To study the way of enlightenment is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. No trace of realization remains, and this no-trace continues endlessly.

>When you first seek dharma, you imagine you are far away from its environs. At the moment when dharma is correctly transmitted, you are immediately your original self.

Condensed in these words is the entirety of our life and practice. We begin, as in so many koans, with a dichotomy we have created in our own mind between the “Buddha way” and our “self,” as if they were separate entities, worlds apart, and practice were somehow a matter of making the twain meet. But Dogen begins by asserting that to study the one is to study the other. Rather than being opposed or incompatible, they are, in fact, inextricable. Yet because we do not know what either the Buddha way or the self truly is, our understanding of each must undergo a transformation.

That transformation begins in the next line of Dogen’s teaching: "To study the self is to forget the self.・ This is a strange sort of study that leads us to forget the subject of our study. I am reminded of Lawrence Weschler’s biography of the artist Robert Irwin, Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees. This kind of study, this kind of seeing, involves a loss of boundaries, a letting go of our stance as a separate, objective observer, and instead places us in the midst of the very landscape we say we are studying. Or we might say that when we attempt to “study” our “self,” we find, as Shakyamuni did before us, that there is nothing we can pin down and call our “self” that is not constantly changing, constantly being constituted and reconstituted by ever-shifting interactions with the whole world.



Dogen calls this interpenetration of self and world “being actualized by myriad things.” “Actualized” means being called into being, or being made what we most truly are. When we cannot find any boundary between ourselves and the myriad things, our mind, our body, the bodies and mind of others, all “drop away”?any distinction, any separate “having” becomes a fiction we no longer maintain. Where there is no separate body or mind, there also can be no separate realization. “Realization” isn’t some change taking place privately inside my personal consciousness; it is instead the experience of from-the-beginning embeddedness in all of life, an embeddedness with no beginning and no end, which “continues endlessly.”

Dogen’s last sentence returns us to where we started: “When you first seek dharma, you imagine you are far away from its environs.” This recapitulates our initial misconception of dichotomizing Buddha way and self. “At the moment when the dharma is correctly transmitted, you are immediately your original self.” The gap is closed. The dharma is neither far away, nor is it something that we had been lacking and now have found. Our original self, the self-in-the-world that we have always been, is unceasingly revealing the Buddha way in every moment. Nothing was hidden; what we have found has been in plain sight all along.

Dogen’s vision of the unity of practice and realization is often considered the height of esoterica, a mystical view that we ordinary types can barely fathom. Indeed, the record of his talks that have come down to us as the Shobogenzo, the “Treasury of the True Dharma Eye,” contains language that is deeply elusive, paradoxical, and ungraspable by any ordinary logic. What relevance can this perspective have for our day-to-day psychological issues?

Let’s go back to the beginning where Dogen introduces the practice of zazen. He emphasizes that it is not a technique of meditation, and this seemingly paradoxical assertion will open many doors for us if we will follow its implications to the end. It is one of the most ingrained and unconsciously pernicious of our psychological habits to treat almost everything we do as a means to an end. Like a small child in the back seat of a car on a long drive, we constantly want to know: “Are we there yet?”



The Zen teacher Kodo Sawaki once asserted that ・Zazen is useless.・ If we truly engage this assertion, we discover that doing this “useless” thing is profoundly different from everything else we do in our lives. It may, in fact, be the only useless thing we ever do. Our whole lives are organized around one purpose or another. Everything we do has a purpose, whether it’s to earn money, have a good time, or do good for others. Everything we do can thus be judged on some scale of accomplishment. How am I doing? There is always an answer, sometimes out to three decimal points. We are so used to everything having a purpose, we may even find ourselves asking the question “What is the purpose of life itself?” We’ll never find the answer to that one, because the question itself makes no sense. We have hopelessly conflated “purpose” with meaning and value.

This is why it can be so hard to answer when our friends or relatives ask us why we practice Zen. The question presumes that Zen is a technique with a purpose, a practice with something as its goal. “Does it make you calm or happy?” As in the case of any koan, it doesn’t work to answer either yes or no. If zazen is truly useless, the first moment we do it, just as Dogen says, we have entered into a totally different realm. We are instantaneously off the grid, so to speak, of means and ends, of progress and goals. We are in a whole new world where what we are doing is not, cannot, be justified by something outside of itself, by what it’s going to get us, or where it’s going to take us. We just sit. We just are. Perhaps as we sit we will realize that everything in the world, from myself to the morning star, is equally useless and has no justification, no reason or meaning outside of itself. In our scientifically-minded age, the apotheosis of the idea that everything must be a means to an end is evolutionary biology. Every aspect of our existence as human beings, we are assured, is the way it is because somewhere along the line it conveyed a selective evolutionary advantage. Our hands, our minds, our taste for sweets all evolved in their current form because long ago on some hypothetical African savannah some ancestor of ours was able to reproduce more successfully, more prolifically, than his fellows because of a mutation granting this new trait.

Do we believe that even the capacity to meditate is such a trait? We can make up a “just-so” story that meditation is a by-product of the capacity to sit still and concentrate, and the first meditators were hunters who were absolutely still and silent while they stalked their game. The most patient, concentrated hunter might indeed have an advantage over the competition. But how do we understand it when that capacity “evolves” to the point where those who are most drawn to silence and stillness and concentration forget about hunting and decide to become celibate monastics?

It is difficult for us to step outside means-to-an-end thinking. Yet Dogen has shown us the way out of this cul-de-sac. The moment we sit down to do zazen, we are useless; what we are doing has no point outside of itself, outside of the moment itself. We just are, we just sit, and in the very act of sitting, we actualize the completeness of the act itself and we actualize our own full completeness as a useless human being, another name for which is Buddha.


Nice pasta. How do i mediate my feels and failures away


>following a barbaric heathen philosophy

Islam is the religion of peace, so convert to that if you're stressed out and stuff.


File: 809997f4995abe4⋯.jpg (88.11 KB, 550x550, 1:1, sign.jpg)


Christfags pls go and stay go. Your religion isn't much better than pisslam, at least Buddhism and related thought is peaceful and quiet and strong rather than… well…


That's nice OP, I encourage more people to read and think about Buddhist philosophy, but I hope you aren't just posting this as an 'excuse' for your own 'uselessness', masquerading it as if you're on some path to enlightenment, because then you've missed the point. No purpose and useless may be the same words but carry different thoughts with them.

Maybe that's just my false assumption because of the board this is posted on though, and if that's the case then I apologize.


By learning from them.


Nothing but religious one-upmanship in that picture. "Look at how more sorry we are than the rest of these people".



How to meditate


HookTube embed. Click on thumbnail to play.


>how to meditate

Here's one way.



Alan Watts is great if only because he's very pleasant to listen to.



Are there other ways? Can i curl up in bed and meditate? My room is small and I like lying in bed



I like to meditate in the bathtub, filled with epsom salt and a bit of olive oil, sometimes burning incense and with chill tunes from a radio. I just breathe in and out counting to 108 (visualizing each number like playing with 3D objects in a model editor), going from sitting to lying in the water half way.



>burning incense

I always find it to be rather stuffy once it really fills the air. Any specific kind you use?


Any good Soto Monasteries that are not too invested in the community?



Try Greek francincense. It's fairly light and citrus-y.



Are you by any chance a woman?



>lying in the bathtub

But what if a bug comes up the pipe out of the upper drainer, gets on the water and crawls up your whole?

I've been incapable of lying down on a bathtub for decades now, all I can think of is a hairy spider running in between my buttcheeks.


>tfw crystals are actually living supercomputer like creatures

>tfw take me crystals to energy vortexes on the ley lines

>tfw chakras align

>tfw crystal magic is real


Must be nice to live in a culture that has literal NEET welfare and you just have to shave your head and wear a robe to qualify but good luck feeding yourself by being "useless" in a Western country. Though I guess monks technically are in education and training?


>only women can have nice things


It has never happened, and the water flow would wash it down if the S-pipe and others didn't stop it. Also most bugs drown easily, hairy spider would get rekt the moment he falls in your tub for sure. Also, spiders are not bugs, they're arthropods.



Leave Portugal and move to a White country instead, problem solved.


Im useless and i feel pretty dumb op


File: 0d4654d08caa7de⋯.jpg (64.86 KB, 1200x675, 16:9, DOBF0dCV4AAbts4.jpg)

the sentiment only applies to people very close to enlightenment who need to learn to let go of their attachment to practice, this is definitely not for beginners or intermediate practitioners as it will give them an attitude of complacency and false-development.

the path actually takes concerted effort and force of will, there is progress to be made, there is a separation between practice and realization. The separation is just very blurry for the advanced, yet very obvious for the beginner and non-practitioner.


File: f2e49e7b712990b⋯.jpeg (47.9 KB, 620x413, 620:413, halfy monkey.jpeg)


>t. macaco

You don't even bath in your cunt.


>the water flow would wash it down if the S-pipe and others didn't stop it

No, fucking spiders can hide and live in the pipe of the upperdrainer. I watched a documentary about that but I can't find shit now about it. It has been erased from the internet.

>Also most bugs drown easily, hairy spider would get rekt the moment he falls in your tub for sure.

This is not about logic.

>Also, spiders are not bugs, they're arthropods.

Changes nuffin.



>the path actually takes concerted effort and force of will

When the causes and conditions are ripe, enlightenment is inevitable and instantaneous. Zazen is a fantastic way to cultivate the causes and conditions for enlightenment.




Guess you're just too autistic to enjoy a bath then. Sorry you're so retarded. I tried my best to help.



It's ok, we can't always help others.


I've tried meditation a fair amount, but my mind is always racing and I can't ever seem to enter a state of calm. Is there any way I can combat this? I'm not sure if it's just years of overstimulation from vidya, or something that just naturally occurs.



Thinking is not the problem, it is lingering on the thoughts which takes effort. Mental content can be spontaneous, and is a reality it can be acknowledged, but not contemplated.



>Though I guess monks technically are in education and training?

Yes, and it's not like they don't work either.



>tfw too stupid and primitive to use crystals or tell real from fakes


File: 9e7bd95e0023c05⋯.png (89.07 KB, 602x339, 602:339, choice.png)


This is normal, and your ability to recognize your racing mind shows you are already beyond the neophyte.

Congratulations, anon, you were no longer asleep. You aren't yet awakened, and you can fall back asleep if you wish, but for that brief windows while you were watching your mind play out, you were legitimately on the path to full enlightenment.

>This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I'm offering is the truth. Nothing more.



Then you watch those racing thoughts the same way you watch cars speeding down the road: observe, do not attach, let them pass, continue watching the road, no commentary, no judgment, just be Gondola.



By the way, meditation isn't always calm. If you're an angry person, then your meditation sessions will often be full of spite and hate if you're doing it right. That's because meditation cleans and polishes the mirror to your innermost ground of being to so you the real you you've always kept hidden under vidya and porn. Paradoxically, if you can face your hate with loving acceptance you begin to cultivate the seventh factor of enlightenment: equanimity. THIS is the way to jus bee urslef :^) that actually fucking works.


Op the only "enlightenment" ive received is me not liking anime wiafus because jap jews are trying to trick me into liking their cartoons by using roastie tactics. I dont think thst counts tho



Every step away from craving for sense-pleasures (IOW hedonism) is a step in the right direction.



Interesting theory but do you have a source on this?



A lot of old suttas/sutras talk about it, but I don't recall any of their names offhand.

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