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Buddhadharma : Spring 2018
28 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER'S QUARTERLY In shikantaza, we use bodybreathminduniverse to receive the entirety of bodybreathminduniverse. But don’t imagine this is accomplished by “you” alone, and don’t imagine it is accomplished by “mind” alone. This receiving is only ever accomplished with body, breath, mind, and universe together. We might also call it entrust ing: entrusting the bodybreathminduniverse of this moment to this moment of bodybreathminduniverse, right here. This receiving and entrusting are also subtle scaffoldings. Sometimes what we receive takes the form of understanding; sometimes what we receive takes the form of nounderstanding. Regarding this, Dogen tell us, “When you understand, a moment of nounderstanding does not come and hinder understanding, and understanding does not break nounderstanding. Instead, under standing and nounderstanding are just like spring and autumn.” In one moment of bodybreathminduniverse, it is spring, and understanding bursts forth. In another moment of bodybreath minduniverse, it is autumn, and understanding falls away. Another piece of the scaffolding in shikantaza is expressed in “Affirming Faith in Mind” (or “The Heart of True Entrusting”), a poem by Jianzhi Sengcan, the second ancestor of Zen in China: “Immediately affirm nottwo.” Whatever arises—whatever story of mind gone away, mind come back, focused, not focused, confused, not confused—immediately affirm nottwo. Self/other, awake/asleep, vivid/dull, enlightened/deluded, good zazen/bad zazen, doing/not doing, present/absent—immediately affirm nottwo. But make no mistake, this affirming nottwo is not verbal. It is not necessarily even mental. It is the simple fact of the matter. With bodybreath minduniverse, immediately affirm nottwo. The phrase rendered as “just sitting” can also be stated as “sim ply getting on with sitting,” which is Dogen’s continual message. Shikantaza is not a thing you can do; nonetheless, right now, get on with doing it. Or rather, precisely because shikantaza is not a thing you can do, get on with doing it. Shikantaza does not accomplish anything, and so we sit in affirmation of that truth. Shikantaza can not be done by your small mind and small intentions alone, but get on with doing it.