Sunday, September 03, 2006

.:Notes: Session 1

Saturday's brief introduction to shikantaza revealed this technique's effectiveness in bringing awareness to thought patterns and ways of seeing most often taken far too much for granted. This is a good starting point for the practioner to understand the filters active upon their senses and mental faculties. From there, the Zen method proceeds to dissolve these conditioned behaviours, not by active deconstruction, but by simple, uncharged awareness. Even if this isn't your aim, shikantaza is certainly worth the practice time.

We discussed the technique's application to both routine and focused tasks where it brings a much more efficient use of mental energy and results in a relaxation that allows a considerable increase in overall awareness. Traditionally, this result has been used in many martial arts such as aikido, kyudo, and kendo.

The initial stage is to rest one's awareness on the body. This is the first great obstacle for many due to the strength of our own, mentally fabricated self-perception and all the emotional associations they carry. This text, Mindful of the Body - a study guide by Thanissaro Bhikkhu might be of help. Once these reactions are subdued the body becomes a very handy object of meditation (which is difficult to forget anywhere).

Another off-shoot contributed by Mitko is of special interest to the quantum theory fans out there; Stanely Sobottka's (Professor Emeritus, Virginia U.) A Course in Consciousness.
You can download the pdf directly here. Even if you're not into the physics (which is only concentrated in the first of three parts) it's definitely a good read.

Remember you can post any questions or comments on the web-log and either PJ or myself will respond.

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