This book is a Zen bible that laid the foundation for Zen in the United States and is now translated in more than 24 countries around the world. It's also a favorite book by Steve Jobs of Apple. The author, Shunryu Suzuki, has worked to popularize Zen in the United States for 12 years, and many young Americans have come to the author.
This book is a compilation of the preaching that the author gave in the United States, and is packed with the essence of Zen, such as the points of Zen training, the basic attitude of Zen, the lifestyle based on Zen, and the attitude toward Zen. If you read this book and acquire a Zen mind, you will be able to grasp things as they are and awaken to your true self.
Now, business people all over the world are adopting mindfulness and meditation one after another. Behind this may be the desire to calmly judge things in a complex and intricate era that cannot be read ahead. Zen was the basis of this mindfulness. Many politicians and business owners are already practicing Zen in Japan.
This book, which explains the basics of Zen in plain text, is a must-read not only for practicing a fulfilling way of life in your own way, but also for surviving in an increasingly complex business environment. It can be said that this is a book that I want to keep as a Japanese.
The main points of this book
If you keep your original intention, your heart will be filled and the teachings you should follow will be naturally protected.
The important thing in zazen is to recognize that your body is "now" and "here". When the body and mind are where they should be, everything else is where they should be.
If you want to be calm with zazen, don't be fooled by the image that comes to your mind. To do this, it is effective to count your breathing and concentrate on inhaling and exhaling.
The practice of Zen is to sit down without thinking.
It is said that Zen training is difficult, not because it is difficult to form zazen or because it is difficult to gain enlightenment. It is difficult to keep our minds and practices in a pure, pure state.
The original intention is sufficient in itself. The condition must not be impaired. When the desire for something becomes too strong, the mind becomes unsatisfied. In this state, it goes against the Buddha's teachings such as not to lie and not to do anything ethically contrary.
If you are innocent and full, these teachings are naturally preserved. It's always difficult to keep your original intentions, but this is the most important point in Zen.[Must read point!] Correct training
When meditation, place your left foot on your right thigh and your right foot on your left thigh. This method of assembly is called the lotus position.
The key to this position is to keep your spine straight so that your ears and shoulders are on the same line. Then loosen your shoulders and extend your head toward the ceiling. The diaphragm should be pushed down toward the lower abdomen. By doing so, you will have a posture that keeps your body and mind in balance. Breathing may become unnatural at first, but as you get used to it, you should be able to breathe deeply naturally.
Place the left hand on top of the right hand so that the second joint of the middle finger is aligned. Gently put the thumbs of both hands together so that a piece of paper is sandwiched between them. The palm opens in an oval shape, like when you hold something important. Place your thumbs on your navel and your hands in front of your body, with your arms slightly off your body. It's an image of not breaking the egg under the armpit.
Do not tilt your body back and forth, left and right, and sit straight so that your head supports the sky. This posture is not a means of obtaining the correct state of mind. Taking this attitude is the purpose of training. By the time you take this position, your mind is already in the right state.
You don't have to think about getting anything else. When I try to get something, my heart goes astray.
The important thing is to recognize that your body is yours and that you are "now" and "here". When the body and mind are where they should be, everything else is where they should be.
During zazen training, focus your consciousness on your breathing. When you breathe in, the air enters the "inside world" of your body. When you exhale, the air goes out into the "outside world" of your body. We distinguish between the "inside world" and the "outside world", but they are actually one world. In this world, the throat is like a rotating door.
When breathing, "I" is nothing more than a rotating door that moves by breathing. If you are in a calm state so that you can keep up with only the movement of breathing, there is neither me, the world, the mind, nor the body. All that is there is a rotating door.
We tend to look at life in a dual way, with good and evil. However, this distinction itself means that the universe is aware of the existence of the universe. The existence of "you" and "I" is just that the universe takes the form of "you" and "I" and is aware of the universe itself. In other words, you and I are just rotating doors.
When practicing zazen, the concept of time and space disappears. When I say, "I started zazen here before 6:15," the concept of time 15 minutes ago and the concept of this room are born. But what they are doing there is just sitting here and noticing the activity of the universe.
When we get tired of life, we sometimes regret saying, "I didn't come to this place." But this only creates in my mind the concept of a place that is different from the time and place I am actually in.
If we think of time and space as separate concepts, we get the illusion that we have a choice. But in reality, they are just doing either "something they have to do" or "nothing to do". The good and the bad are in the heart. It should not be divided into "this is bad" and "this is good".
What would you do if you were to control sheep and cows? The best way is to release it on a large grassland. The same is true for people. Let them do what they like and watch over it. The worst thing is to ignore it, and the next worst thing is to try to control it.
This is also true when you control yourself. If you want to be calm with zazen, don't get in the way of the images that come to your mind. The image disappears when it floats, but leave it as it is.
This method is not easy. Considerable effort is required. The only piece of advice is to count your breathing and focus on inhaling and exhaling.
However, Zen's goal is not to focus on anything. It's about catching things as they are, and letting things happen and disappear.
That it's not two
Training does not give you an idea, so don't expect anything.
The training freed from the idea of acquiring a certain idea is based on the Heart Sutra. According to the Heart Sutra, "Phenomenon is the sky , and the sky is a phenomenon as it is." However, if you stick to this teaching alone, you will fall into dualism. Originally, there is no dualism in the teaching of Zen Buddhism.
It is difficult to stop your mind while you are zazen, and if you find yourself trying to stop your mind, you are at the stage of recognizing that "the phenomenon is the sky, the sky is the phenomenon as it is". .. Even in such a state, the goals of oneself and zazen gradually become one.
If I could do zazen without any pain, my heart would stop. This state is the stage where "color is color and sky is sky".
Stopping the mind does not stop the work of the mind. It means that your heart is full. With a spacious and open mind, you can sit without suffering from pain in your legs. This is to sit down without any idea. You may feel cramped at first, but finding your own way in that cramped way is the way of training.
After zazen, lie down on the floor and worship. By praying in the gassho, you can give up yourself. To give up yourself is to abandon your dual thoughts. Therefore, in zazen, there is no difference between sitting training and gassho worship.
In general, gassho worship is performed on something that you respect more than you. On the other hand, in Zen, worship is performed on Buddha, but you should not have any idea about Buddha. Become one with Buddha. If you give up the dual idea, everything will be respected by your teacher.
Worship is a very important practice. You must always be prepared to worship at the last moment.
The important thing in training is correct or complete effort. The direction of effort must go from achieving to not achieving. The effort from achievement to non-achievement is to get rid of unnecessary and bad results. In other words, it is enough to do anything without any special effort.
Special efforts in trying to achieve something add extra and excess. They must be removed. For example, if you are well trained, you will unknowingly want to brag about it. That pride is extra. You should throw away the idea that you gained something from your training.
Nirvana is like a waterfall
We didn't feel anything before we were born. It was one with the universe. And by being born in this world, he was separated from the universe. When we were separated from the universe, we had emotions.
You feel scared when you don't know you're one of the rivers, or when you don't know that you're one with the universe. But even if the rivers are separate, water is water. Life and death are the same. A clear recognition of this truth will eliminate the fear of death.
Feeling this way is not easy. But zazen can foster this feeling. It should be relatively easy to understand if you leave all of your mind and body to the control of the cosmic mind and sit in one mind and body.
Believe in nothing
What we absolutely need to live is to believe in nothing. You must believe in something that has no color or shape, or that exists before the shape or color appears. You will be calm when you prepare to accept everything you see as a manifestation of nothingness and know that there is a reason for a phenomenon with a particular color or shape.
There is also a reason for having a headache. Knowing the reason makes you feel better. If you don't understand the reason, you will be anxious.
Believing in nothing is essential for everyone. Nothing does not mean nothingness. There is something. Something is always waiting to take a particular form. There are rules, theories, or truths in its work.
Experience, not philosophy
Many Americans are interested in Buddhism, but their interest is in Buddhist philosophy and teachings. However, speaking without knowing what Buddhism really is is almost blasphemy.
The purpose of Zen is to continue training in a pure form. It is important to get together and do zazen. This is because this training is the original way of life.
Without knowing the beginning of things, it is impossible to appreciate the results of our efforts. In other words, in order to know the meaning of effort, it is necessary to know the source of effort. You should not focus solely on the consequences of your efforts without knowing the source.
Zazen training means starting an original pure life. Through training, we keep ourselves as they are. There is no need to theorize what is our pure form, just sit down without thinking. It has the purest intention and sits quietly in the form that most closely resembles its original form. This is Zen training.
Recommendation of reading
In this summary, we focused on the description of Zen training. In this book, the meaning of these training methods, the concept of Buddhism, and the Buddhist background are also explained. The concept of religion is excluded in mindfulness, but since it is explained together with the concept of religion in this book, it seems easier to think of living this moment, seeing things as they are, and so on. If you are interested in mindfulness or Zen, this is a bible that you definitely want to keep in mind.