10

Actually, the answer is very simple: meditation is practiced to achieve tathata (suchness), which is a state of realization of the Third Noble Truth. Because tathata involves cessation of aversion to any "this" and of longing for any "that", its attainment requires a mindset without a goal. It would be more precise to say that no-goal is a method of ...


8

My experience with "formal" zazen comes from meditating at a local Korean Zen meditation center, for about two years, twice a week, two hours each time. Plus some meditation at home. In my experience, counting breaths is useful on those days when the mind is very distracted with mental chatter / inner gossip. There seems to be a progression here: from ...


5

"Law of attraction" is, by its meaning, total Dhamma and all works on that. It's the "law of attraction" that keeps one in the wheel, and that of escape, with faith into liberation as alternative attraction. For one once attrated by what is worthy to give in, one has already designed ones deliverance. Without such as right imaging not much success, yes. ...


5

Zen and Jhana are the same word. Jhana is a word in the original spoken language. In Sanskrit it is written as Dhyana. Channa or Chan is how it came to Chinese language, and Zen is how it subsequently came into the Japanese (in English transliteration). Jhana or Zen means the mind of meditation. If you ever heard the phrases "attain the state of Zen&...


4

In my practice at a Soto Zen center, I was never instructed not to count breaths; it seemed to be well accepted as a valuable beginner's practice. I personally found it very helpful, as I would go from 1 to 10, starting over from 1 if I lost track. You'd think that counting to 10 would be easy, but I've had times when I couldn't even make it past 1. It's ...


4

When there is joy, when a person is full of happiness and joy, there is little chance for ‘Uddhacca’ & ‘Kukkucca’ to arise. These are two of the hinderances mentioned in the scriptures. Restlessness (uddhacca) is agitation or excitement, which drives the mind from thought to thought. Worry (kukkucca) is remorse over past mistakes and anxiety about their ...


4

The term Zazen (Chinese 坐禪, zuò chán) just means seated meditation. It doesn't itself specify what kind of meditation is being practiced. Just Sitting refers to Shikantaza, which is the type of meditation taught by Dōgen Zenji, the founder of the Sōtō school of Japanese Zen. He famously explained it in the Fukanzazengi saying : Once you have adjusted ...


4

When a person doesn't eat, he gets hungry. When you drop a ball from the top of a parking deck, it falls. Likewise, when you watch your breath, a sign, or sit facing emptiness, the mind will eventually but invariably enter jhana. Jhana is a natural phenomenon. It manifests regardless of whether you practice Theravada, Zen, or nothing at all. The Buddha ...


3

I feel concern for others, but like my efforts in anything are wasted. Is there any practice I could engage in, to remedy the latter? Act of the betterment of other, but do not be attached to the outcome, as you have to practice equanimity, also as part of the Brahmavihara. Otherwise the practice will become a burden and a stress, than away to unburden ...


3

Look, there is nothing special about Shikantaza or any other type of meditation. If you ask me honestly, I say that meditation is for fun really. You don't do it to achieve anything. In fact the idea is to let everything be. And NOT achieve anything. No "Nirvana", No "Moksha", No "separation", No "clinging" or whatever labels we like to create. There is ...


3

The Pali scriptures describe two kinds of joy: (i) worldly/sensual joy; and (ii) dhammic or Zen joy. Sensual joy is like joy from sex or drugs. The more this joy is indulged in, the more it harms a person via addiction & diminishing pleasure. These sources of 'joy' can cease to bring joy & instead bring pain (such as the torturous craving & ...


3

As ChrisW said, this is a known vajrayana practice, congratulations on inventing it by yourself. It's called "generation-stage meditation", you can google it for more details.


3

The law of attraction as you describe it sounds like it could be misunderstood: Imagining "being praised as a famous pianist" won't make a person famous, nor a pianist But imagining doing something e.g. playing the piano -- visualising mentally exactly what to do and how it feels to play, rehearsing difficult sequences even when you're not at the ...


3

Think of not-thinking. How do you think of not-thinking? Be before thinking. These are the basics of zazen. When one's perceptional faculties are acutely developed and on the cusp of awakening, logical perception will begin to occur before emotional perception. For example, if there is a loud bang, the first perception in the mind will be, just a loud bang,...


3

Shikantaza in original usage means ~'only sit', and the term was introduced into fairly standard usage by Dogen Daishi c.1250AD. This is in the context of Original Traditional Authentic Soto Zen, where the term is fairly similar to zazen, which means ~'sit & contemplate' etc, and so, within context, the two terms authentically mean about the same thing: ...


3

To sit in zazen is to sit facing emptiness. M H's answer is absolutely correct, but like most things in Zen there is more to the story once your practice deepens. Relaxation and concentration on a focal point have their place, but really what zazen is after is the arousal of mushin or "no-mind". In early Zen, and later in Soto, they sat in pi-...


2

I am not familiar with zazen since I practice theravada meditation. In theravada there is the idea that you have to make effort to sit and meditate. You also have to make effort to establish the 3 mental qualities which will support the meditation. Those are mindfulness, clear comprehension and ardency (sati, sampajañña and atapi in pali). But having ...


2

I'd like to give my view on that topic, even if the question is already old. I started sitting at a martial arts dojo once in a month without any sect or tradition. The second pillar was a book from Sekida ("Zen-Training" in german). He suggested to count your breath and while I was sitting mostly alone at home and had no real training, even at that dojo, I ...


2

I had a look at translations of Dogen's essay "Universally Recommended Instructions for Zazen": Think of not thinking. Not thinking-what kind of thinking is that? Nonthinking. This is the essential art of zazen. https://web.stanford.edu/group/scbs/sztp3/translations/gongyo_seiten/translations/part_3/fukan_zazengi.html I did further research on the ...


2

To me the English phrase, "think of thinking which is no longer thought" implies that it used to be thought, that it was previously thought, but is no longer thought i.e. it is not thought any more. In other words it's something to do with after thought, not before thought. The way I understand "before thought" is, for example, if I see a tree then what I'm ...


2

I think that this hypothesis (the idea of the """law""" of attraction) should be tested in every possible aspect, including enlightenment. If the idea of the existence of a law of nature that allows you to achieve things and become something, then why not? Well, I think it wouldn't work. By definition, enlightenment is the halt of the process of becoming ...


2

I hear other people breathing loudly through their noses, it drives me nuts and puts me in an extremely bad mood. You are quite fortunate to have these kind souls gently show you the rough spots in your meditation. If you were alone, steeped in quiet, there would be no such disturbance. If there is suffering somewhere, it is attached to delight (MN1). For ...


2

If you are referring to the "law of attraction" in the book "The secret" no that's pure pseudo-science. It has nothing to do with Buddhism. STAY AWAY FROM IT


2

I practiced Zen for over a decade. Only much later did I read the suttas. And after reading the suttas, I belatedly realized that practicing Zen alone without ready access to a teacher is a bit like learning to drive a stick-shift car on the freeway by yourself. The suttas (Early Buddhist Texts in particular) provide a vast, coherent, inclusive, accessible ...


1

Zen Mind Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki might offer you the perspective that goes beyond words to intention. If we aim at beginner's mind, then just sitting or zazen or meditation is aiming at beginner's mind. The intention of the person sitting is the most significant factor. There are times I have fallen asleep sitting. Perhaps I was tired or my ...


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