Koun Franz

‘When you sit, just sit, but sit with all of your energy. Imagine trying to touch your toes—if you bend over to touch your toes and maybe they’re a little bit out of reach, there’s a great clarity in what you’re doing. You’re just trying to touch your toes. It’s not complicated. It doesn’t mean anything. You don’t carry with you an image of someone 2500 years ago who could touch his toes very, very well, nor do you carry an image of yourself in the future bathed in light, touching your toes in the way you always dreamt of. You just reach. In the same way, when you do zazen, you literally just sit. You concentrate every cell in your body on the action of sitting. You let it be a complete activity, the most important activity. That’s not some lofty philosophical construct, because in the moment that you’re sitting, it’s the only thing that you’re doing. There can be no more important activity than that, and so we say, “Don’t sit like a buddha. Sit as a buddha.” A buddha is one who comes and goes. A Buddha is one who does just this, whatever this is. Don’t worry about breathing in a particular way. Don’t worry that you can’t cross your legs the way that you wish you could. Don’t imagine that you’re imitating zazen. Simply sit still with all the force of the universe.’  (Commentary on Shobogenzo Zenki)

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