Thread: What is Zazen?

  1. #1
    Forums Member dwlemen's Avatar
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    What is Zazen?

    Moderator's Note:

    The thread has been moved to the Zen Forum in order to discuss Zen and Zazen



    I have been doing Zazen for some time ago and I have had excellent results... Look, the mind slows down and becomes still so you perform your daily activities more slowly, carefully, silently, aware and mindful... aware of the present moment... attentive to your breath as you eat, cook, brush your teeth, etc...
    So, I am still trying to work out how to do any kind of meditation, and was curious about Zazen. How does it work, in a nutshell? Is it just trying to keep saying "in" and "out" as you breathe, while you do other tasks? What goes thru your mind? Last night, while doing dishes, I realized that I was 1.) mentally composing a draft of this email, 2.) humming some song, and 3.) ruminating about an issue my son is having.

    I'm just wondering how one gets from this spaghetti mess of mental activity to whatever Zazen is.

    Peace,

    -Dave
    Last edited by Esho; 06 May 21 at 17:16.

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    Global Moderator Esho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwlemen View Post
    So, I am still trying to work out how to do any kind of meditation, and was curious about Zazen. How does it work, in a nutshell? Is it just trying to keep saying "in" and "out" as you breathe, while you do other tasks? What goes thru your mind? Last night, while doing dishes, I realized that I was 1.) mentally composing a draft of this email, 2.) humming some song, and 3.) ruminating about an issue my son is having.

    I'm just wondering how one gets from this spaghetti mess of mental activity to whatever Zazen is.

    Peace,

    -Dave
    Hi Dave... when I write down the results of Zazen is just the enthusiasm about them but Zazen has to be done just because. What you do during Zazen? Nothing. Just let the mind go on an on... just watching the mind not getting into its mess, eventually will slow down and through a long long time of practice thoughts will stop. As you are completely still, the mind after some time of practice will still too. Zen is Zazen and Zazen is Zen... in Zen, Zazen is considered as the highest spiritual practice... Intuition develops deeply and in some way or another reality as it is will appear... reality as it is is reality without discriminatory thought.

    The spaghetti mess of mental activity will become as the still surface of a tranquil lake where the moon reflects calmly.

    Last edited by Esho; 06 May 21 at 19:44.

  3. #3
    Global Moderator Esho's Avatar
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    Here are some Instructions for Zazen Meditation that can be useful.

    In these instructions it is taught to completely focus on breath but some teachers do not recommend it. Instead, watch your thoughts not getting into them, into their mess, after a while, as you are completely still the mind will slow down and suddenly you will watch the breath; just abide there; don't force yourself in following it, just be there. Eventually inner peace of mind and clearness will happen... sammadhi.

    Last edited by Esho; 06 May 21 at 21:03.

  4. #4
    Global Moderator Esho's Avatar
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    I highly recommend you Dave the Bendowa the earlier chapter of Dogen's Shobognezo. A lecture that will give you the transcendence of the practice of Zazen.

    Its a core reading for those interested in Zazen.


  5. #5
    Forums Member dwlemen's Avatar
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    Hey all.

    I have started watching the Zen's Master's dance. I had a question. A lot of what he talks about seems to portray zazin in a more poetic light. Is there also a more analytical version of it?

    It's hard for me to understand what's what with the poetic descriptions that I find. I have the same problem with poetry outright. Math I'm good at, poetry I am not. Are there resources that are less colorful that maybe would be more simple for me to understand?

    (Also reading the dialogue PDF Esho recommended...)

    Peace,

    -Dave

  6. #6
    Global Moderator Esho's Avatar
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    Hi Dave! Zen is a Mahayana branch of Buddhism and Mahayana is poetic and colorful; it is its nature... In order to describe Zazen and what it means and the experiences that are about it it is needed intuition and that is developed just with Zazen itself. It is not the purpose to do poetry around Zazen... Zazen is poetry in itself.

    But in a less poetical fashion Zazen is about sitting with a straight back with eyes open all the time looking at a white wall being completely still. After a while you start watching your thoughts as they come and go; after some practice has been done the mind starts to become much more slower and still and breathing appears in the scene of Zazen, then naturaly, not counting, not forcing it to be followed you abide in it. That's Zazen... the highest spiritual practice.

    Last edited by Esho; 11 May 21 at 15:47.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by dwlemen

    I have started watching the Zen's Master's dance. I had a question. A lot of what he talks about seems to portray zazin in a more poetic light. Is there also a more analytical version of it?
    Hi Dave,

    You can find out a lot more information about Soto Zen and Soto Zen teacher Jundo Cohen's book "The Zen Master's Dance" by visiting his website "TreeLeaf Sangha".

    https://www.treeleaf.org/





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