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See beyond all words and phrases...
Harada Roshi

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When practicing What is this? is it okay to shorten it to just What? after a while? Placing it in the tanden and on the long outbreath concentrate everything into this one word Whaaaaaaat? just like with mu koan. Is it alright to practice like that or should I stick to the whole question? I heard about 2 other ways to do What is this? 1. Asking it continously without gaps without connecting it to the breath. 2. Ask it once and stay with the sense of opennes wonder and perplexity. When the sensation becomes less ask the question again. Could you please comment on these ways

It is not only about during Zazen. 24 hours, from morning until night, from night until morning. Zazen is about awakening to one´s true being. It is not a decoration for daily life. Zen is for those people who are "slaves"of their intellect in society, to bring life to their consciousness again, realizing their true humanness, being part of all life energy. That is why you need to practice 24 hours a day, letting the revolution of the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and consciousness come about. For those who do not work with Koans, it is good to use the break through Koan: What is this. Yet this has to be used only as a tool. It cannot be an empty repetition in the head, that has no meaning. When you see: WHAT. When you hear: WHAT. You have to meet it in that real experience.

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