Dogen Sangha Blog

  by Gudo NISHIJIMA

Japanese / German

Friday, March 7, 2008

Sesshin ?

Dear Nishijima Roshi,

In the book Hokyo-ki I found a description of the zazen taining-methods of Master Tendo Nyojo. For example he focused on intense sitting minimizing the time for sleep in the night. On the other hand he was scolding monks who fell asleep during zazen-times.
Was this severe praxis the reason for Dogen's great breakthrough of "dropping body and mind"?
Are the practitioners nowadays different from those in the past?
Would you recommend attaining sesshins or do you consider it sufficient to sit twice a day?

Thank you for you precious time answering our questions.

Best regard
Regina

3 Comments:

Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Ven Regina San,

Thank you very much for your sincere questings, and my answer is as follows.

I think that it is very natural that Master Tendo Nyojo recommend his students to practice Zazen so enormously, because our usual length of life is naturally limited, therefore we have to be so dilligent in practicing Zazen thoughout our life.

But at the same time I think that it is also very important for us to practice Zazen everyday two times a day at least.
Because the reason, why we need to practice Zazen everyday, comes from the necessity for us to keep our autonomic nervous system balanced throughout a day, throughout a year, and relying upon such a dayly life we should keep our body and mind as a Buddha continuously.

Of cause sometimes we like to have Sesshin, and it is also a very joyful habits, but at the same time it is much more important for us to practice Zazen everyday, because relying upon sach a
habit, we can keep the state of balance in the autonomic nervous system throughout our life.

Gudo Wafu Nishijima

8:39 PM, March 07, 2008  
Blogger Regina said...

Dear Nishijima Roshi,

Thank you for your very helpful answer. I won't miss my daily zazen and am looking forward to my next sesshin whenever it may be.

Best regards
Regina

4:59 PM, March 08, 2008  
Blogger Mauro said...

Dear Nishijima Roshi,
in your answer where is the religious spirit of Zazen ?
'practice Zazen at least two times a day' is this a doctor recipe ?
'to keep our autonomic nervous system balanced'.
Just this ?
is just phisiology ??
Thank you,
Mario

6:43 PM, May 17, 2008  

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