theravadan and shikantaza

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theravadan and shikantaza

Post by befriend » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:53 pm

Hi everyone,
i really enjoy doing shikantaza, the zen meditation, because i can do it during daily activities all day if i wanted to. but i dont want it to damage my progress with the brahma viharas. are these two practices ok to combine? ive heard shikantaza is a mixture of samatha and vipassana so i dont think it would be bad to practice the brahma viharas with shikantaza but i am not sure. thank you. metta, Befriend
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Re: theravadan and shikantaza

Post by Ben » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:59 pm

Greeting befriend,

Metta Bhavana is often used in conjunction with Vipassana (Satipatthana) within the Theravada as they are complementary. I am not familiar with the zen practice of shikentaza and nor am I qualified to indicate to you whethr you can practice the two. Perhaps it is a question best put to your teacher or guide.
kind regards

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in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: theravadan and shikantaza

Post by pilgrim » Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:12 am

Imho, shikantaza is a Mahayana practice that is closest to traditional Theravada mediation practices, particularly cittanupassana or watching the mind, one of the 4 objects of Satipatthana practice. I see no reason why the brahma-viharas cannot be practised separately but in conjunction with shikantaza, just as it is practised together with various meditation objects within Theravada practice.

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