This is the quote I read yesterday during my Sunday talk at Clouds in Water Zen Center.
Katagiri Roshi (taken from “To live is just to live” from The Art of Just Sitting, edited by John Daido Loori, page 101):
Zazen is just to become present in the process of zazen itself.
It is not something you acquire after you have done zazen.
It is not a concept of the process;
It is to focus on the process itself.
Real Buddhism is to focus completely on the process itself.
Our body and mind is the process itself
There is no gap between us and the process.
The process is you.
All we have to do is do what we are doing, right now, right here
Whatever happens, all we have to do is to be constantly present right in the middle of the process of zazen.
This is the beginning and also the end.
You can do it; it is open to all people, whoever they are.
Trying to be peaceful is no longer to be peaceful.
Just sit down.
We do not have to try or not try or say that we do not care.
Finally we have to do is realize we are Buddha; this is a big koan for us.
This is the root koan.
We take off our conceptual clothes and plunge in.
We have to practice constantly because we have a mind.
A mind that even though it thinks it understands
Cannot settle down in our hearts.
If we give the mind a certain change, the environment, the circumstances, it becomes a monkey mind. Grabbing onto anything fun and exciting.
That is why we have to take care of our mind.
We have to take care of chances, circumstances, time and occasion.
When we have taken care of the mind, we are not bothered by the workings of the mind; the mind does not touch the core of our existence; it is just withus, that is all. When all circumstances are completely peaceful, just our center blooms. This is our zazen; this is shikantaza.
Shikan is translated wholeheartedness, which seems to be a sort of psychological state or pattern. But shikan is not a psychological pattern. Shikan is exactly becoming one with the process itself.