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September 13, 2016

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Good article!

Many Westerner Buddhists still think sitting 'immobile' or finding a 'good and cozy place' could help one gain intuition.

If this is the case then a beach bum, laying on a quiet shore, enjoying the relaxing sun ray and not thinking of anything would achieve enlightenment quickly!

Watching and noticing one's own thought certainly won't help win intuition either. Why is this?,...

...It is just like a man who notices he is about to expel stomach gas. But because of the fear of embarrassment in public, he hold it in until he can do it in a private room:)

These practices won't get one anywhere near the intuition of Bodhisattva!

Plus, the author already has shown the practice to gain intuition in the article! re-read it :)

Question: What is the weight of a mountain? Answer: 3 pounds of dog poo!

Question: Age old question, chicken or egg, which came first? Answer: the moon is out tonight.

Question: Before heaven and earth were created, what was I? Answer: my other shoe is in Atlanta.

Question: Why did Bodhidharma say 'no merit whatsoever'? Answer: it's a cool river, jump in!

Question: what is the original face? Answer: turtle dust!

Anyhow, many Westerner Buddhists are habitually hooked on the idea that sitting can lead to enlightenment. This is like one who is strongly addicted to cigarette. Bad habit dies hard is so certain!:)

Bodhiratna

reply to szymon: i was just thinking about my own experiences in sitting in meditation, trying to sit in lotus or even semi lotus, or even cross legged posture , back straight, etc, is very difficult, very uncomfortable, and very even painful for me. I have done a 10 day buddhits retreat - vipassana.org - and to the contrary of sitting being a comfortable cozy thing, it was dealing with it, sitting through and moving through the discomfort, and transcending, looking at the pain, and past the pain, that the transcendence of consiousness was achieved or experienced there. So, the process of going deeper and transcending in awareness is not even dependent upon comfort per se, its the discipline and commitment of staying in whatever is there, watching it, letting it be, remaining focused on being aware, that the transcendence is possible and that when transcendence does come, begins to transform even that which was painful, uncomfortable, into that which is seen as something interesting, useful, and even humorous!! lol.

Just found this blog - I love it - can't believe its been going for almost 10 years. What a wonderful gift. Thank you for your work. Gassho.

I agree with your statement, "One can do zazen and never achieve satori or one can achieve satori without doing zazen." However, I do think zazen is a very good way to understand the nature of thought and how not to get caught in it. The practice of noticing that you have been caught in thought, and starting over - doing that over and over again is useful. It allows you to recognize intuition. And sitting immobile is helpful to concentrate on that practice. However, I agree that most people need more than this. And many zen teachers do not offer that "more". But I would not throw out the baby with the bathwater. There is a long history of zazen for a reason.

As I don't think that sitting is an important position to become enlightened, but the comfortable position will help you achieve that. You need to feel relaxed to focus, so a good and cozy place/area is a great thing to have.

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