Zazen Instruction by Jisho Matsumoto
How to Sit in order to Enlighten to Truth (Satori)
Satori, or enlightenment, is the revelation of Truth.
Zen practice enables satori to happen.
Zen practice and satori are not difficult.
Truth has become clear to few people only because “satori,” “enlightenment,” and “correct zazen (true practice)” are not generally understood. Satori can happen to anyone, once you can sit correctly and keep up a practice. My satori is evidence of this.
Sitting correctly (zazen) is not difficult. When I reflect back on my zazen practice, however, I realize now that it took me a long time to understand how to sit correctly. The reason it took so long was because I did not understand what correct zazen actually was. Zen explanations are often hard to understand. In addition, I had many mental habits, preconceptions, and assumptions about Zen and satori, so there were times when I misunderstood what was being explained to me.
Now in my zazenkai (sitting Zen gatherings), I make it a point to convey Zen, truth, and satori in simple terms and in ways that practitioners can learn to sit more quickly. I avoid explanations that are misleading or that can be interpreted in various ways. Explanations are clear and in accordance with how practitioners understand best. Furthermore, to ensure that there is no misunderstanding, I teach correct Zen sitting and regularly check on how practitioners understand what I convey.
For this reason I often receive comments like, “I am able to sit now.” “I no longer have any doubt about my practice.” “I realize now how much unnecessary effort I was making before.”
My role is like a guide. I just so happened to practice zazen and satori happened to me before you. So I just point and say, “if you do this, satori can happen," and “if you do that, satori cannot happen.”
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