Zen Meditation

A Zafu and Zabuton

A Zafu and Zabuton

To Practice Zazen (seated meditation) at Home

 

Take a seat on a chair or cushion. No sofas. No overstuffed chairs. If you are sitting on a chair, sit on the forward third. Place your feet shoulder width apart and set at right angles to your thighs. Place your hands together by cradling your left hand in your right hand, thumbs lightly touching. Pull your shoulders back, sit upright, and tuck your chin just a bit. Eyes should be half open at about a 45 degree angle in front of you and you should be facing a plain wall.

If you are sitting on a cushion, fold your legs left foot onto right thigh; right foot onto left thigh (or a variation of this lotus position). Sit on the forward third of your cushion. Knees are thrust toward the floor offering you a three point seat (two knees and a butt). Hands are cradled in the cosmic mudra, shoulders are back and set square.

Exhale. Inhale. Make no fuss about it. Let your breath find its own way.

Place your mind’s eye on your breath or your nose; count each exhalation. After achieving some measure of stability, stop counting and just be present. Do not move except to adjust posture and ONLY if ABSOLUTELY necessary.

As a thought arises, notice it arose and let it go. As a feeling arises, notice it arose and let it go. We let things go by cutting our connection to them. Snip, snip!

Sit this way, perfectly still, for a period of 25 to 50 minutes. If you are a beginner, please adjust these times to 10-25 minutes. Pick an amount of time IN ADVANCE of beginning. If you have an alarm on your watch, use it.

I urge you to do this practice twice a day. In the morning on waking and in the evening just before bed.