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May 01, 2011

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I see this as a (very common) misread of Dogen.

In essence, I see you and Dogen are actually agreeing.

Zazen is not being touted as a means of awakening, but an expression of, and thus is awakening itself (whether someone sees this or not).

Sit with some goal of attainment in mind and you are doomed to fail. Just sit, and what is may reveal.

A perception of absurdity is understandable if Dogen is approached as a seekers attempt to grasp this teaching with ordinary mind, no such problem arises in original mind.

Sitting before awakening and sitting when awakened are indeed just sitting. This is likely why the term shikantaza was used to reinforce that sitting should be approached as "just sitting".

In that culture, if you're going to sit, it's done a certain way, like making tea, or polishing a sword. One way to do it - with full attention. This aspect sometimes does not translate to other cultures very well.

A agree this sort of "physical" (odd to separate so) practice is not required, but that is not the point Dogen makes.

Substitute wood chopping or water carrying or rice cooking...

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