Be soft in your practice. Think of the method as a fine silvery stream, not a raging waterfall. Follow the stream, have faith in its course. It will go its own way, meandering here, trickling there. It will find the grooves, the cracks, the crevices. Just follow it. Never let it out of your sight. It will take you.
Sheng-yen (in Essential Zen by Kazuaki Tanahashi & David Schneider)
Entering this week of practice for Rohatsu, I made the commitment to be fearless in my sitting. It felt like I was about to attack the zafu with a vengeful pounce for all the times it met my efforts with undiscriminating silence. Be soft? Do I know how?
Sometimes I have a waking dream of falling, falling backwards into the ocean. Arms outstretched, legs, fingers, and toes splayed open. Whatever the height I am falling from, there is not a ripple, not a sound as I am absorbed into a vast, liquid, supporting cushion. Be soft. It’s worth a try.
Please take the time to practice softly,