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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 ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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