The 'dissolution of self, is not mentioned in the reference below,
athough it is reasonable to believe that mostly Shikantaza will
eventually lead to some sort of a 'dissolution of self'. 'dissolution of


"Shikantaza is a Japanese term for zazen introduced by Rujing and
associated most with the Soto school of Zen Buddhism, but which also is
"the base of all Zen disciplines."

According to Dogen Zenji, shikantaza i.e. resting in a state of brightly
alert attention that is free of thoughts, directed to no object, and
attached to no particular content—is the highest or purest form of
zazen, zazen as it was practiced by all the buddhas of the past.

The modern Japanese Zen master, Hakuun Ryôko Yasutani says:
"Shikantaza is the mind of someone facing death. Let us imagine that you
are engaged in a duel of swordsmanship of the kind that used to take
place in ancient Japan.

As you face your opponent you are unceasingly watchful, set, ready. Were
you to relax your vigilance even momentarily, you would be cut down
instantly. A crowd gathers to see the fight. Since you are not blind you
see them from the corner of your eye, and since you are not deaf you
hear them. But not for an instant is your mind captured by these
impressions." (Introductory Lectures on Zen Training, Kapleau)

The term is believed to have been first used by Dôgen's teacher
Tiantong Rujing, and it literally means, "nothing but (shikan) precisely
(da) sitting (za)." In other words Dôgen means by this, "doing only
zazen whole-heartedly" or "single-minded sitting."

Shikantaza implies "just sitting", and according to author James Ishmael
Ford, "Some trace the root of this word to the pronunciation of the Pali
vipassana, though this is far from certain.""


--- In, <billsm...@...> wrote:
> Anthony,
> Well 'single-minded sitting' is what I am trying to describe by using
the term. I have heard it also called 'clear-mind' sitting.
> ... Bill!

> Gaijin-san,
> Shikantaza only means single-minded sitting. Anything else you add to
the meaning is your additions, not in the original sense of the word.
> Anthony

> Anthony,
> Thanks for the correction. I do understand it is a technique which
leads to a state of dissolution of self. We're tugging over nuances of
terms. Could you say you are TRYING or ATTEMPTING to sit shikantaza, and
it's only when you reach the dissolution of self that you are really
sitting shikantaza? That's the sense I have of the word.
> ...Bill!

> Bill,
> Again you got it wrong. Shikantaza (=zhiguan dazuo) is not a state. It
is a technique of single-minded sitting, which can result in a
dissolution of a self, ...
> Anthony

> Ed,
> I normally don't use the term 'samadhi', but in the post below I meant
> 'shikantaza' - the state where there is a dissolution of self.
> ...Bill!

> Bill, 'Samadhi' has several meanings; in which sense do you use use
> 'samadhi'? --ED

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