Message from Zoketsu
Someone asked me about Dogen’s “drop body and mind” and I told the Dogen biographical story, which the person hadn’t known. “Drop” really means “to be free of, not attached to, not identified with.” It’s not some sort of mystical erasure of all experience – an ultimate escape to oblivion. The sleeping monk whom Rujing slaps is being told “to sleep in zazen is to succumb to unconscious attachment to the body; and zazen is to be free of body as well as mind!” So simply to sit in zazen experiencing the body’s sensations as they are, and whatever arises in the mind as it is (without worry or identification) is to drop body and mind. Not so spectacular a deal, yet, at the same time, the most fundamental deal there is.
Norman Fischer (Zoketsu) wrote a great foreword to Beyond Thinking: A Guide to Zen Meditation, a book Tanahashi Sensei gave me last month. I found the above quote on his own web site.