8

Of course you can. Think of the etymology - zen -> chan -> dhyana -> jhana. It's the same word bastardized and modified over the course of four languages. Zen is absorption practice. It's what the Buddha taught although to be fair the methodologies are slightly different. But get off the idea of jhana. It's not important. Whether you are in ...


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 ...


7

Shikantaza means "just sitting" or "single-minded sitting". It is a state of being where you are present here and now, no matter on what you experience, in body or mind. About losing your religion: the Buddha said that there are three marks of existence, one of them is impermanence of all compound things (anicca). In other words, anything that once begins ...


4

Stop craving attainment and obsessing about attainments. Shikantaza is just sitting, no jhanas, no BS. You know you have this thorn stuck deep inside your heart, you want to be special, your want to be an achiever. That's the poison that's eating you alive, your worldly life and your Buddhist practice. You gotta let go.


4

Ven. Ajahn Brahm is widely recognized as an expert of samatha meditation leading to jhana from mindfulness of breathing, with his book, "Mindfulness, Bliss and Beyond". I quote a part of this book below. Here, he explains the transition from focusing and watching the breath, to the entry point into jhana. There's a point where the mind simply lets ...


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 ...


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 ...


2

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: ...


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

That (above comment) said, there are numerous studies of what is called Open Monitoring (OM) vs Focused Attention (FA) meditation within the "mindfulness" category, for example the paper Attention regulation and monitoring in meditation, which first defined OM and FA. FA is pretty clearly related to at least some aspects of shamatha, and OA has sometimes ...


2

Without a teacher and teaching, meditation alone may succeed. Indeed, the Buddha own insight and practice were ultimately required for his enlightenment. The Buddha had teachers that brought him to a certain point, but he had to go further on his own. DN34:1.6.95: Furthermore, it may be that neither the Teacher nor … the mendicant teaches Dhamma … nor does ...


2

If Shikantaza helps you stop thoughts, then it's useful for that. That's a necessary skill for entering second jhana. If breath meditation is triggering thoughts, you're not doing it correctly. The main point of that meditation is to give your mind a physical, interesting, pleasant object to occupy your attention so there's no room and no time for stray ...


1

It's good, that you know your comfort zone. But if you do not come out of it and instead get trapped yourself there, then it's not good. The purpose of meditation is to get rid of meditation. In fact, the purpose of any practice is to get rid of practice. It's like train, you get in from your home and get down when you reach. So I suggest you do breath ...


1

For last two years i am practicing Vipasana meditation and by observing the process of breath. I am work-ably become thoughtless during meditation and helpful even any time for few seconds or a minute or two whenever i do it before doing anything even drinking water. After observing a single breath, I do not talk a single word. This practice helped me a lot. ...


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