The “Eight Consciousnesses” is a conceptual model of the Yogacara, or Mind-Only school of Buddhism that divides consciousness into eight types as a way of working with mind. The seventh consciousness, often called “klesa mind” or the ego identity, tends to solidify the illusion of a self separate and other by grasping, rejecting, or ignoring how this appears. In sitting meditation, we work with the mind by holding still and practice just observing that which appears.
Sokuzan talks about the practice of “Tonglen”, or sending out positivity and receiving negativity while riding the breath, reversing the tendency of ego. He suggests that without a strong awareness practice, taking in negativity may cause more difficulty and instead recommends the practice of “Maitri Bhavana” or extending the intent of loving kindness to others.
At this all-day meditation retreat at SokukoJi Buddhist Community-Traverse City, Sokuzan talks about the 16 precepts and receiving jukai or lay ordination
At this all-day meditation retreat at SokukoJi Buddhist Community-Traverse City, Sokuzan talks about shikantaza–the Japanese word for “just precisely this”–and beginning a meditation practice.