Zen is the most direct, simplest form of practicing Buddhism. Zen is nothing other than zazen, meditation without object.
To do zazen is to experience regained freedom and in doing so, to taste pure existence. During zazen, we are free because at each moment we free ourselves from illusions. Ordinarily, our illusions constrain us, limit us, enclose us. In zazen, we do not depend on our erroneous conceptions, we do not follow our superstitions. Our false points of view appear to the consciousness, but we are not dependent on them, we let them appear and disappear. We call illusion everything we are attached to, even if it is unconscious.
In any case, we do not free ourselves through the intellect, but by letting the coagulations of our brain lose their consistency and dissolve. When thoughts, emotions, memories appear in the consciousness, we do not fix them, we do not feed them. We leave them to their own life, without worrying about them. So, like everything that is born, all these mental fabrications die. Without using one’s inner policeman, the knots of thoughts loosen. Thoughts loosen, they are born and die by themselves.
If in zazen we do not preoccupy ourselves with what appears to the consciousness, we do preoccupy ourselves with maintaining the body and the mind in unity. Body and mind in unity, it means that there is not here the body and there the mind. Body and mind in unity, it means that the mind is present in every point of the posture. The back is straight, balanced on a tripod formed by the two knees and the perineum resting on the zafu. The head is over the shoulders, the chin is tucked in, the neck is in the extension of the back.
The posture of awakening is practiced by pushing the ground with the knees and pushing the sky with the top of the head. At that moment, our life takes the place it should take. It includes heaven and earth without separation, body and mind without separation.
When the mind is present in every point of the posture, it can no longer wander, it can no longer wander on the dusty roads of the past, nor on the chimerical roads of the future. The human being has the power to rewrite the past and the power to imagine the future. Reality, which is always at work, exists in the present moment.
Most of the time, mental fabrications take precedence over the present moment and all too often lead us into confusion. The Buddha’s teaching proposes that we experience reality, the experience of pure existence – not that it condemns the mental fabrications that sail from the past to the future, but it reminds us that the most important thing, the real thing, is the present moment. It is the present moment to be cherished above all else, the present moment, free from all illusions.
Please, pay great importance to the present moment, pay great importance to the mind that inhabits that moment, that mind which is free of all mental fabrication.
Taiun JP Faure, July 2020