Reply from immortal 1
There is a difficult balance in zazen between 'doing' and 'not doing' because of the inherent opposites involved.
How can one 'do' 'not doing'?
One can go to a place of meditation, and that is doing. One can set the time, and that is doing. One can assume the position for 'not doing' and that is doing. But once one is in the position, place, and time of meditation, all 'doing' must cease.
So then 'meditate' is not an action verb, but rather a state of being verb.
One does not do meditation, one becomes it.
Shikantaza (????, Shikantaza?) is a Japanese term for zazen introduced by Dogen Zenji and associated most with the Soto school of Zen Buddhism, but which also is "the base of all Zen disciplines." The term is believed to have been first used by Dogen's teacher Tiantong Rujing, and it literally means, "nothing but (shikan) precisely (ta) sitting (za)." In other words Dogen means by this, "doing only zazen whole-heartedly" or "single-minded sitting." Shikantaza implies "just sitting", and according to author James Ishmael Ford, "Some trace the root of this word to the pronunciation of the Pali vipassana, though this is far from certain."
The first master to write about what is more or less termed shikantaza was the Caodong master Hongzhi Zhengjue (1091—1157), who wrote on "silent illumination." Additionally, the practice of silent illumination is said to be traced back to at least Bodhidharma. Later in the thirteenth century, Dogen Zenji (the founder of the Soto school) used much of Hongzhis' writings on silent illumination to help shed light on what Dogen termed shikantaza. From thereafter the practice of shikantaza has been primarily associated with the Soto school. It should be noted that while silent illumination is in theory a "methodless method"—it is also important to realize that, "his (Dogen) practice of shikantaza took a somewhat different approach." Even still, Ch'an Master Shengyan feels comfortable in stating that shikantaza is in fact quite similar to silent illumination. Silent illumination comes from the integrated practice of shamata (calming the mind) and vipassana (insightful contemplation), and was the hallmark of the Chinese Caodong school of Ch'an. It therefore means one is practicing with both a calm mind and "questioning observation." In Japan, vipassana and shamata are sometimes used in addition to shikantaza as complementary practices.
Reply from immortal 1
If you became 'the sitting'.
If you were the experience of just 'siiting'.
What would that experience teach?
I don't know. Even though I don't do anything in meditation, I still am expecting that something will happen. Waiting. Maybe its like sitting in a darkened theatre waiting for the movie to start, but you don't know what the movie is.
But it varies. Sometimes I just fall asleep. Sometimes I have dramatic dreams or visions. Sometimes nothing at all, until my alarm goes off, and then I'm surprised that it was a longer time than I thought, hours instead of minutes. Who knows. It doesn't matter anyway.