This gradual letting go doesn’t proceed in any linear way or in any planned way, even for the most organized among us. It unfolds as it will unfold, upheld by intention. There are fields of golden glory and there are desolate and despairing wastelands. We just sit and witness and let go of the feeling that it is hard, too. If we fall back into mindfulness, we refuel with intention and compassion and align ourselves in present-centered awareness, again and again and again. Released into a greater freedom in the face of our own graspings, we can transform loneliness into aloneness. We can create the platform for continued ripening. We own our own practice. We own our own peace. ~Kathleen Dowling Singh
receive. give. repeat.
inquiry for today~ how will you know peacefulness today?
Skitantaza is not nothing. Shikantaza is not a practice of just spacing out, though a mind-moment may arise that has the content of “I have just been spacing out.” These mind-moments are neither themselves the practice of shikantaza nor do they negate or break shikantaza. Dogen refers to the practice of skikantaza as being “unstained.” He tells us, “To be unstained does not mean that you try forcefully to exclude intention or discrimination, or that you establish a state of non-intention.” Touching on the radically nondual and nondoable nature of the practice shows us, in fact, that “Being unstained cannot be intended or discriminated at all.” In shikantaza, we use body-breath-mind-universe to receive the entirety of body-breath-mind-universe. The phrase rendered as “just sitting” can also be stated as “simply getting on with sitting,” which is Dogen’s continual message. Shikantaza is not a thing you can do; nonetheless, right now, get on with doing it. ~Josh Bartok