Gesshin Greenwood

‘In the Zen tradition especially, there is a lot of emphasis places on “not thinking.” In Fukanzazengi (Universal Instructions for Zazen) Dogen Zenji wrote, “Think of not thinking. How do you think of not thinking? Non-thinking. This in itself is the essential art of zazen.” Most teachers of Zen, in Japan at least, will tell you that Zen is “not about thinking,” and that practice is something you primarily do with your body. This is pertinent advice for Westerners especially, who seem to come in with lots of intellectual questions they want to answer, and seem less willing to clean the floor and sit silently for ten years. So generally the advice given is to just practice without trying to understand what’s happening, because the only way to actually learn something is to engage with the thing itself without adding your own idea. If you add your own idea, then you’re just engaging with your idea, not the thing you’re trying to learn.’ (Bow First, Ask Questions Later)


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