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ZEN TRAINING ZEN Katsuki Sekida TRAINING METHODS AND PHILOSOPHY edited, with an introduction, b A. V. Grimstone New York WEATHERHILL Toko Te cover design incorporates an i paintin, "Cirle, Trianle, Square," by t Japanese Zn prest and artst Senai (1750-1837), courtesy of the Ideitsu A Galery, Tok. Publishd by Wethl, Inc. 420 Madison Avenue, 15th Aor Ne York, N.Y 10017 1985 by Katsuk Sd and A.V Grtone. Al rights rsered First edition, 1975 Tenth printin, 1992 Ubrry of Cons Catalo in Publication Data: Sd Katsuki, 1893-/ Z t. / A epanded Enlish version of A intrduction to Zn for beginners, originally witten in Japanese. / Includes bibliographical rfernce and index. / 1. Meditaton (Z Buddsm) 2. Z BuddhismDiscipline. / 1. T itle. / BQ9288.S4313 / 294.3'4'43 / 75-17573 / ISBN 0-8348-0111-6/ ISBN 0-8348-0114-0 pbk. Contents Preface 7 Editor's Introduction 9 1 Orientations 29 2 Zazen Posture 38 3 The Physiology of Attention 47 4 Breathing in Zazen 53 5 Counting and Following the Breat 60 6 Working on Mu 66 7 The Tanden 83 8 Samadhi 91 9 Koans 98 10 Three Nen-Actions and One-Eon Nen 108 11 Existence and Mood 128 12 Laughter and Zen 147 13 Pure Existence 160 1 Pure Cognition and Kensho 173 15 Kensho Experiences 193 16 A Personal Narrative 17 Stages in Zen Training Reference Notes Index 207 223 253 255 Preface I SHOULD LIKE to expres$ here my thanks to all those who have helped and encouraged me in the writing and publishing of this book. Parts of it originally appeared in Diamond Sanaha. the publication of the Zen group of Honolulu, and I must frst express my feeling of gratitude to Mr. Robert Aitken, who initially edited my articles and prepared them for publication in Diamond Sanaha. and to Mrs. Anne Aitken, who typed my manuscripts and generally spared no efort in the work of getting them printed. Without their helping hands, encouragement, and the hospitality of the pages of Diamond Sanaha, those articles would never have appeared. This also is the place to express my gratitude to the readers of Diamond Sanaha for their steady encouragement; it has meant much to me. The articles that appeared at that time were independent of each other and were published separately. The work of organizing those articles into book form, of editing the material that I added later, and of writing the introduction was undertaken by Dr. A. V. Grimstone, in Cambridge, England. I wish to thank him most warmly for the care he has devoted to. the task, and for his many helpful suggestions. He has worked on the book as if it were his own. I also wish to thank Miss Debra Graynom, of the Maui Zendo, who helped me by typing some parts of the manuscript, and more generally I want to express my gratitude for the encouragement given me by the members of the Zen groups of Honolulu and Maui, and the mem-7 PREFACE bers of the London Zen Society. Among the latter I particularly want to thank Mr. Geofrey Hargett for suggesting Figure 20. I hope that this book will be of interest and help to those who wish to study Zen. Good luck in your Zen practice! KATSUKI SEKIDA Kochi Prefecture, Japan, 1975 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The author and editor wish to express their gratitude to the following for granting permission to reprint published material: Chatto and Windus, Random House, and the literary estate of C. K. ScottMoncrief for extracts from Scott-Moncrief's translation of Marcel Proust's Swann's Way and Within a Buddino Grove; the University of Illinois Press for a fgure from the American Journal Pscholo8; R. D. Laing and Penguin Books for an extract from The Politics Experience and The Bird Paradise, 1967 by R. D. Laing; David Magarshack and Penguin Books for passages from the former's translations of Dostoevski's The Idiot and The Devils, 1953, 1955 by David Magarshack; A. C. Guy ton and W. B. Saunders Company for material from Function the Human Body; Iris Murdoch and Routledge and Kegan Paul for passages from The Sovereiono Good; Manchester University Press and the University of Chicago Press for an extract from Karl Jaspers' General Pschopatholo8, translated by J. Hoenig and Marian W. Hamilton; and Macmillan Publishing Company and AlIen and Unwin for a passage from Edmund Husserl's Idea i Phenomenolo8, translated by W. P. Alston and G. Nakhnikian in Readinos in Twentieth-Centur Philosophy. 8 Editor's Introduction THE AUTHOR OF THIS BOOK, Katsuki Sekida, was born in Kochi, a town in the southwest of Japan, in 1893. He began the practice and study of Zen in his early twenties, in circumstances that are partly described in chapter 16 of this book, and has continued this uninterrupted ever since. His experience therefore extends over almost sixty years. Although his study and practice of Zen have been intense and profound, and although he lived and studied for some years in a Zen monastery, Ryutaku-ji, he has always remained a layman, earing his living as a schoolteacher until his retirement in 1945. In his later years he has become greatly respected as a teacher of Zen. These few biographical facts are important to the reader, I believe, since they help to establish that this book is the work of a man who can write of Zen with the authority of prolonged experience and deep study. In 1963, Mr. Sekida accepted an invitation to go to Honolulu to join a Zen group that had been founded there at the initiative of Robert Aitken, and he remained in Hawaii until 1970. It was in Honolulu that Mr. Sekida began working on an expanded English version of a book he had written in Japanese, An Introduction to Zen for Beginners, and early drafts of various chapters of this book were circulated with a newsletter, Diamond Sangha, published by the Honolulu Zen group. I met Mr. Sekida in 1968, when I was working in Honolulu for a time, and again in 1971, when he came to England for several months at the invitation of the London Zen Society. At that time he asked me ifI would assist him in the fnal preparation of his manuscript 9 EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION for publication. I gladly agreed to do this, since it seems to me that his ideas are interesting and important and his book is a most valuable one. I can claim no profound knowledge or experience of Zen myself, but in the course of my professional activities as a scientist I have acquired a certain experience of writing and editing, and it seemed to me that it was this that Mr. Sekida chiefy needed, rather than a deep knowledge of his subject. Mr. Sekida completed his manuscript in 1972, and the fnal version is now before the reader. Mr. Sekida also asked if, in addition to editing the book, I would write an introduction to it. With some difdence, I agreed to do this. The book is, I believe, well able to stand by itself, and the reader will lose little if he proceeds straight to chapter 1. However, Mr. Sekida's view of Zen is diferent in many respects from that which has previously been presented to Western readers, and a few words of explanation at te outset may help some readers to orient themselves in unfamiliar territory and to relate what is said here to what is to be found in other books. In particular, I think it may be useful to state explicitly some of the things that Mr. Sekida takes for granted and does not comment on. For Mr. Sekida the unquestioned basis of any serious practice of Zen is zazen, the exercise in which the student sits and lears to control his body and mind. A substantial part of the book is devoted to describing how zazen is performed and what its efects are. Perhaps for some readers this concentration on zazen will need justifcation, for in Daisetz T. Suzuki' s writings, which were chiefy responsible for introducing Zen to the West, no such emphasis is to be found, and this inevitably infuenced those introductory books on Zen that were largely based on his work.1 Suzuki wrote about Zen largely from a theoretical ad cultural viewpoint a nd was not much concerned with the practical aspects of Zen training. Traditionally, the practice of Zen has been taught to students personally, usually in a monastery. Suzuki took this for granted and perhaps assumed that it would always be the case. At any rate, his books contain little mention of zazen, and certainly nothing by way of instructions on how to perform it. It needs, therefore, to be emphasized at the outset that the experi-10 EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION ences and insights that Suzuki described are, and always have been, gined by the assiduous practice of zazen. This point has already been made by Philip Kapleau,2 whose book went further than any that had hitherto appeared-in the West, at least-in describing how Zen is actually practiced. Kapleau's book is undoubtedly a most valuable and interesting one. Largely consisting of