Katagiri Roshi

‘A Zen master once said, “Think not-thinking.” A monk asked, “What do you mean by, ‘Think not-thinking?” The Zen master said, “Nonthinking.”
When you are sitting in zazen, don’t think. Don’t use your frontal lobe. Your frontal lobe is sitting with you already, so don’t use it to think. This doesn’t mean to destroy thinking, or to keep away from thinking. Just rest; don’t meddle with thinking.
As long as you’re alive, thinking will come up constantly, but don’t meddle with it or fight with it. When you say, “I shouldn’t think,” it’s already thinking. All you have to do is to sit down with peace and harmony from moment to moment. Then there is no space to think. This is to “think not-thinking.”
Of course, if you really think you are not-thinking, you fall into arrogance because next you may think, “I did it! I am enlightened!” Very naturally a haughty air comes up. Even though we think it’s good, “good” is not so good.  If you think, matters get worse. Much worse. So what should you do? Not-think. Not-thinking means please, rest your frontal lobe. Sit down. That’s all we have to do.
We always measure things by our personal yardsticks. For example, if you experience a great feeling from your “not-thinking”, you say, “Wow! This is great!” But this is already a measurement. Finally, neither “not-thinking” nor “thinking” hits the mark.. So instead of measuring something by your yardstick, just try to be right in the middle of the world. This is called “nonthinking.” It is nothing but practice; sit down there, peacefully, harmoniously. But watch out. Every day, from moment to moment, watch out, because egoic consciousness is always coming up.’ (Returning to Silence)

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