The Elephant In The Zazen Room

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The following is an audio recording of an essay by Treeleaf founder and guiding teacher, Jundo Cohen.

Here's the "elephant in the room" of Shikantaza Zazen: What does it mean to "think-non-thinking?" In ordinary life, our daily minds resemble a mad circus, maybe a chaotic jungle. We react to the elephants passing through our awareness, jumping on, leaping from one to the next, pulling their tails, prodding them with a stick, often tangled in their trunks. Sometimes we chase them to catch them, sometimes we run away in fear, sometimes we get trampled underfoot. What is more, all our meddling seemingly summons ever more elephants of thought and emotion into the crowded room. The jumbled circus of "thought jumbos" and "emotion mastodons" never ends, and we taunt them and stir them up more. But in Zazen, the elephants are tamed.

Further reading and discussion for this talk are available on the Treeleaf forum: The Elephant in the Zazen Room

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