Master Dogen described our practice of shikantaza as dropping off body and mind.
The Japanese which is rendered as ‘dropping off’ has two aspects. One is intentional, as we might drop off an article of clothing. The other is natural, like leaves falling in Autumn.
Dropping off mind, means dropping off that dualism between mind and world, and which is often prominent, although unacknowledged, in meditation.
So we don’t think, “I must make my mind clear, my thoughts are an encumbrance to that”. But rather, thoughts are just one more thing going on within unbroken experience, where there is not inner and outer, me and not-me.
And likewise dropping off body, we don’t think “My body is experiencing these sensations and emotions”, but rather, there is just this experiencing, which includes everything.
We can drop off Mind, in the sense that we can relocate the mind within the body, but we need to drop off both, otherwise the dualism remains.
So dropping off body and mind is, as it were, sitting within the body of the world. It is not to do with individual gain, or individual effort, and so it is the gateway to peace and joy.