the Buddha Dharma is
study the self.
study the self is
to forget the self.
forget the self is
be confirmed by the ten thousand things."
What is Meditation?
Meditation is a dynamic practice
that expands our awareness by touching the present moment, where we can see reality as it is. Meditation is the tool to release
ourselves from the controls of our habitual thought patterns that cause endless sufferings, and to develop understanding and
The Buddha taught many forms of meditation, such as Zen
and Vispassana. Every Buddhist school has its favorite form. All types of meditation are based on mindfulness, which is the
keen awareness of the present moment without holding on to any personal biases, which allows us to realize Nirvana.
What Does Zen Mean?
Zen means meditation is Japanese. It is an
ancient and proven technique to know yourself and manifest your True Nature, which is the nature of enlightenment. Established
2,500 years ago by the historical Buddha, Zen meditation allows you to learn about yourself by observing your life unfolding
from moment to moment without biases.
is Zen Practice?
Zen practice...centers on zazen, sitting meditation. But zazen is not, as one might imagine, a concentration technique
to still the mind and produce religious insight - a particular way of practice that is wholesome and effective. No,
zazen is, at once much simpler, and far more profound than this. Even, as the reader will soon see, close to ineffable... It
is, on the one hand, extremely lofty and difficult, maybe even impossible to do, the most advanced and demanding of all possible
spiritual practices; and, at the same time, it is a practice so easy and so accessible that anyone, no matter what his or
her beliefs or level of commitment may be, can do - almost can’t avoid doing...zazen is a form of meditation so basic
it can’t even be called meditation. It is simply the practice of being what we are, of allowing, permitting, and
opening ourselves fully, to what we are. In doing that we enter directly the depth of our living- a depth that
goes beyond our individual life and touches all life.
Introduction to Beyond Thinking
Zonketsu Norman Fischer
The Purpose of Zen?
“The true purpose is to see things as they are, to observe things as they are, and
to let everything go as it goes…Zen practice is to open up our small mind.
So concentrating is just an aid to help you realize big mind, or the mind that
is everything. If you want to discover the true meaning of Zen in your everyday life, you have to understand the meaning of
keeping your mind on your breathing and your body in the right posture in sitting meditation.”
Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind,
A Mini-Meditation Exercise
This is a beginner’s 10 minute meditation to develop mindfulness and to feel the
immediate benefits of a stress relief meditation practice. Enjoy!
Sit cross-legged, on a chair or go for a walk. Keep your posture straight. Begin to breathe
naturally and gently. Be mindful that you are breathing. Think, “breathing in, I feel calm, breathing out, I smile.”
Maintain a half smile. On the fourth set of breaths, you can abbreviate this sentence by saying, “calm” in the
in breath, “smile” in the out breath. Keep your attention focused on your breath. When we smile, we release all
of our negative feelings. So relax. After 5 minutes, “breathing in, I smile, breathing out, I release all my worries,
fears and anxieties.” Let it go. Then mindfully “breathing in, I
dwell deeply in the present moment, breathing out, I smile.” In this way, you will feel more fully alive and experience