Here is a zen master’s explanation of zazen:
“In zazen we leave everything to the figure of zazen. It is not sleeping. It is not thinking. We must be awakened clearly.”
We believe that zazen is to get tranquility by concentrating on breath. It is part of zazen. Real zazen is leaving everything to the figure of zazen. Zazen is just total presence. The figure is the physical structure of your body.
Let go of your hold of your head. Then there is very clear awakening.
“It is natural that thoughts flash on us from moment to moment.”
Thoughts arising is not something wrong. Very naturally, thoughts come up. The more quiet you are, the more aware you are of how subtle thinking is. The problem is when you see a flash of thought you start to run after. Then you throw your life into what you have thought, completely becoming dragged away. We grab thoughts with our head and fabricate a world.
Peace is not inside or outside. Peace is right in the midst of the functioning of zazen. You think that by zazen you will become peaceful. At that time, peace is already outside. When you feel peaceful by zazen you feel peace inside. But this isn’t real peace and harmony. Next moment it disappears. Real peace and harmony which is blooming from moment to moment, not in the idea, but in the midst of the process of zazen.
“Even though many thoughts come across our mind, lose your hold on your head. Refrain from any fabrication, leaving a flash of thoughts to take its own course, leaving the disappearance of thought to take its own course.”
“Refrain” is not hatred. “Refrain” is to be modest. Modify yourself and your attitude toward fabrication. Don’t fight or mettle. This is very delicate. We have to learn through actual practice following this suggestion.
(via Wild Fox Zen)