"In a mind clear as still water, even the waves, breaking, are reflecting its light."
- Dogen Zenji
What is it?
Zazen is a form of meditation associated with Zen Buddhism that has its origins in Chinese, Indian and Japanese Buddhist traditions. The word Zazen means “seated Zen” and is considered to be the very heart of Zen practice.
How do I practice zazen?
Seating posture can vary, but Zazen is often practiced on a mat or cushion, with or without legs crossed. The back is kept as straight as possible, head slightly tilted forward with the mouth closed, breathing naturally with gaze focused on the floor. Attention is concentrated on the inward and outward movements of the breath or just simply sitting with no attention on the breath.
Challenges and Commitments of practice
At first we see our body, mind and breath as three different things. Over time through this practice we can begin to see them more as a single experience.
Sitting for long periods can be challenging for both the mind and the body. The practice of Zazen becomes more natural and comfortable over time.
Tips and Reminders
If time is a challenge, try practicing Zazen for shorter periods of 5 or 10 minutes, increasing over time.
Find a Zen community or practice partner to sit with.