The Self asserts itself twice : first openly, then by stealth.
We are often told that zazen is not meditation, and that’s true, if meditation is seen as a way of controlling the mind, expanding consciousness, increasing compassion and similar egoic drivel.
But we also need to be alert to a different form of self assertion: imagining that there is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ experience. So, when we are sitting, we might imagine (good) raw experience to be somehow dimmed by the (bad) experience of judging, commenting, associating and so on, which our ‘mind’ seems to be doing automatically. But who is it who wishes to get this (bad) experience out of the way?
Our practice is to experience everything in vast open awareness.