Hi JM, Bill and All -
What is described below by JM is 'concentration meditation' or
'samatha', which in zazen is preliminary to the main practice of
shikantaza. This preliminary samatha can be brief for a practitioner who
can stabilize her mind quickly.
"Samatha comprises a suite, type or style of Buddhist meditation or
concentration practices designed to enhance sustained voluntary
attention, and culminates in an attention that can be sustained
effortlessly for hours on end." (Wiki)
"According to Dôgen 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 contentis the highest or
purest form of zazen, zazen as it was practiced by all the buddhas of
the past." (Wiki)
In later posts, we shall compare different techniques for the samatha
meditation portion of zazen.
JM, is Chan meditation comprised of the samatha practice described
below, without any subsequent shikantaza?
--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, Jue Miao Jing Ming wrote:
> Follow the path of our breath in a slow and continuous fashion.
> "Feel" the chi going through our nose, to our throat, into our lung,
> The key is SSDL. (Slow, Soft, Deep and Long).
> The objective is to be able to breathe about 4 times in one minute
> Just "feel" and "sense".
> Not visualizing, not imagining.
> No counting.