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Harada Roshi


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I am able to focus on my object of meditation so that I forget the world around me. But still the awareness of myself that I am and of what I am doing the object still remains. I simply cannot break through this and forget myself and my object completely. How can I overcome this barrier?


You say that you can concentrate when doing zazen, yet the awareness of doing so still remains. What an honest question. As long as you are aware of concentrating, it means that it is a technique for you, and that you have not entered real concentration yet. When learning to play the Shamisen (Japanese Lute), the student is being told: "Pluck the strings of the shamisen with your mind and not with your hand, and when you pluck the strings without plucking them, then your mind is truly quiet." That is how we also practice samadhi during zazen. When you are still aware of yourself, it is not samadhi. When you walk, do you think: now the right, now the left leg ? When you hear a sound, are you aware of your right or left ear ? When zazen becomes this natural, then this challenge will get resolved by itself.




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