--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, donald hwong <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> Thank you Bill for letting me feel comfortable and welcomed.
> My question is, from the reading, it seems to indicate, slience, or 
emptiness or vacancy or nothingness is where we need to reach first!???
> If so, then what?  Do you have any other post?
> Namaste.

There are lots of reasons and objectives and goals in Zen and anybody 
that says otherwise is probably parroting something they mis-read out 
of a book.

Having said that, when you are actually sitting in zazen, if you are 
trying to reach the objective, you have your mind on the future rather 
than in the present.  When you're doing the practice, you focus on the 
means and the means only.  The means is zazen. It might be the breath, 
it might be a koan, it might be shikantaza.  That's the only thing you 
focus on.

The breath, or the koan, or shikantaza is the means to get you to the 
objective, which could be said to be samadhi.  You can't get samadhi 
by hoping for it.  But it will happen very often in the beginning that 
you will be "wanting" to get there and this is natural.  You just have 
to forget about wanting and go back to the practice.  Sometimes you'll 
realize you want to reach some state, then you'll say "oh I need to 
stop wanting to reach some state," so you'll think "ok now I'm going 
to stop wanting to reach some state."  And now you're just wanting 
something else!   It can be a real mess.  I think my first year of 
zazen was something like this.

Now my mind can be a mess but I'm not upset that it's a mess.  I just 
sit there and see the mess and...well there it is.

It's kind of like when somebody tells you "Calm down!"  Doesn't that 
piss you off more than anything?  Our minds are funny like that.  


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