Gesshin Greenwood

‘Whenever I am asked to give zazen instructions, I give the same instructions I received: back straight, full or half lotus if you can, eyes open and looking down, hands in cos­mic mudra. Take out any idea of Buddha or enlightenment and just do the posture. That’s basically all the instruction I ever got, so that’s all I say. I’ve tried to coerce teachers into giving me more instruction than that, but they never do. I was frustrated with this for years.

And yet my understanding of zazen is that, at the funda­mental level, you are just sitting there, embodying being a buddha. You’re not doing anything other than sitting there. Of course when we come to zazen, we want all these things like peace of mind, concentration, tranquility, and so on. And then the asshole teacher just tells you to sit with your back straight and get rid of any hope of enlightenment? Lame! I totally understand people’s confusion.’ (from a Lion’s Roar article adapting from Bow First, Ask Questions Later)

To be read alongside Brad’s words from last week.

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