Thursday, October 8, 2009
Oh Yeah, 'Why do you do Zazen?'
Oh yeah, this question came up the other night. I thought it was a good one:
Why do you do Zazen?
Having my practical head on I said the reason that I sit zazen is because I did it this morning, and last night, and yesterday morning, and the night and morning before that... I wasn't messing around or being cute: One period of sitting (in my case) does seem to be a big reason as to why I do it next time, and I've noticed that a bit of reluctance to doing it starts creeping in if I miss a link in that sequential chain. I suppose this is an aspect of Zazen as a type of training. It's widely recommended that we practice regularly.
Of course, there are effects in doing Zazen that people enjoy too. Master Dogen refers to it as a 'joyful and ease-ful gate to the truth'. When we do it for a little while I think we can enjoy it as a nice rest from our usual activity; we don't have to follow our thoughts or engage our usual responses. It frees us up a bit and helps us experience ourselves a little more clearly. That's a nice feeling (even if it isn't always so easy or clear-cut in practice!)