Zazen Notes

The Mudra of Zen

Fuxi's Poem

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Mark Foote
Post title: Certifying Zen
(May 30 2011 at 02:24 PM)

A friend of mine took me to hear Kobun Chino Otogawa speak at the Santa Cruz Zen Center in about 1971. Kobun had a way of saying things where I thought he was speaking to me, and he was describing what I had to do (or not do) in order to be on-time or in time with my life. There was this sense of the future coming on, and although he could have no idea of what that would be, when he spoke he was time (if I may).

Sometimes I wonder at that sense of imperative I felt when Kobun spoke. I know o

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Mark Foote
Post title: 'Zazen', from "The Mudra of Zen"
(Apr 9 2011 at 10:41 AM)

Dogen said: "To study the way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self."

Simply by being where we are, we can come to forget the self. The sense of place engenders an ability to feel, and each thing we feel enters into the sense of place- even before we know it.

This being where we are with each thing, even before we know it, is shikantaza.

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Mark Foote
Post title: On the effectiveness of mudras (response on Tao Bums)
(Apr 2 2011 at 10:15 PM)

When I finally sat down to write something about zazen, I wrote an essay about "the mudra of zen". I didn't know what I was going to say about that, but I wrote anyway. As it happens, I still use the practice I wrote about even today, six years later. And yet, it's an oddball thing!

So here it is. As consciousness occurs, we have a sense of our location in space. This sense is keyed to the three motions possible in space; these motions are pitch, yaw and roll, just like with an airplane:

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