Yin & Yang

The two main Japanese Zen traditions are Rinzai and Soto.

Rinzai is characterized by koan study, by deepening and working with intensity and focus.

Soto is characterized by shikantaza, by just sitting – staying with awareness and allow all experiences to unfold within awareness.

Rinzai gives a direction, breakthroughs and a sense of progress. It can also be somewhat single minded, certain areas may not be brought into awareness although they would benefit from that healing. It is intense, with the danger of narrowness.

Soto opens for all that is – we experience everything as it unfolds. It is inclusive, with the danger of sluggishness.

I am in need of the Rinzai qualities right now – intensity, single pointed focus, passion.

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