Shikantaza is to practice or actualize emptiness. Although you can have a tentative understanding of it through your thinking, you should understand emptiness through your experience. You have an idea of emptiness and an idea of being, and you think that being and emptiness are opposites. But in Buddhism both of these are ideas of being. The emptiness we mean is not like the idea you may have. You cannot reach a full understanding of emptiness with your thinking mind or with your feeling. That is why we practice zazen.
from the book Not Always So: Practicing the True Spirit of Zen
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Further quotes from the book Not Always So:
- Right there is enlightenment
- Wherever you are, enlightenment is there
- Our scales
- Existing in each instant of time
- Going beyond the realm of good and bad