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December 28, 2011

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ohh F*ck, you mean existentialism aint really REAL philo-sophia?

damn college, they dun taught me wrongz

(sic)

eidolon, Sokei-an was not a big fan of formal sitting. He liked his couch (I learned this from his great grand daughter). I have read most of his lectures in Zen Notes. I also have many of his original newsletters. All in all, Sokei-an was not a Soto kind of guy in which sitting is believed to be the only way to study Zen. There is a lot on this blog about meditation. You might, for starters, read what the Sixth Patriarch said about tso-chan/za-zen. He didn't take it in a literal sense.

I just began reading your blog about a week ago and am working my up to the present from the beginning. Here is a quote from Sokei-An's book, *The Zen Eye*, the the end of the section called "Motionless Mind":

"When you finally behold the quiescence of your own mind, or nature, within yourself, it is not as easy to understand. But when you have passed the first koan - "Before father and mother, what were you?" - and you reach your original nature, there is neither inside nor outside, neither time nor space, neither spirit nor matter. Then there is no word to think, no silence to keep, no sound to refuse to hear. You lose the bottom of your mind and go back to universal nature. From the top of your head to the tip of your toes, you will realize your original nature. And when you behold IT - not thinking, not talking about it - this is called Zen. The English word "meditation" is so small that it does not cover the true attitude called Zen."

I think that this is what you are talking about in this blog. And throughout this book, Sokei-an is clearly talking about meditation, seated meditation. I have read your words about trying to "aperceive" the before and after of the breath, and I understand that you are saying that "meditation" must involve the whole daily life and not just the sitting period, but I am not clear about what you are getting at in re that "apercerption". Can you try to explain what you mean a little more clearly, or say more about how it worked for you? Thanks. I think this blog is fascinating, and it's going to take me a while to read through it.

“Good sons, all bodhisattvas and sentient beings of the degenerate age should separate from all illusory and false realms. By firmly abiding in separation from thought, you also separate from the thought of ‘illusion.’ You also separate from the illusion of ‘separation.’ You also separate from this separation from this illusion of separation. You will reach ‘nothing to be separated from,’ which is the removal of all illusion. It is like making a fire with two sticks. The fire blazes and the wood is consumed; the ashes fly away and the smoke vanishes. Using illusion to remedy illusion is exactly like this. Yet even though all illusions are extinguished, you do not enter into nothingness.”
(Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment)

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