Zazen

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.
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shanyin
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Zazen

Post by shanyin » Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:36 am

How do I practice zazen? I have heard that focus on breathing meditation can be called samatha, jhana, mindfuless of breathing (anapanasati).

Is zazen sitting in lotus or half lotus and doing nothing?

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passel
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Re: Zazen

Post by passel » Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:12 am

shanyin wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:36 am
How do I practice zazen? I have heard that focus on breathing meditation can be called samatha, jhana, mindfuless of breathing (anapanasati).

Is zazen sitting in lotus or half lotus and doing nothing?
Read this to get started, when you forget what to do, go back and look at it again- the writer is a good teacher- I have done several sesshin (zen retreats) w him:

https://opendoorzencommunity.org/wp-con ... ischer.pdf

Then read this slowly. It’s fine if you don’t understand most of it- just work to make zazen a regular part of your day.

https://terebess.hu/zen/mesterek/Kobun.pdf

For now, just half Lotus w the breath in the belly as the focus- good posture healthy breathing. Don’t worry about doing nothing- that comes later.

If you like art or music or athletics or anything- keep doing that, it’s part of zen practice. Find other people who are interested if you can, and seek out practitioners who are senior to you at least periodically if you decide you want to go deeper w this path. Good luck!
"I have made a heap of all that I have met"- Svetonious

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Emmet
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Re: Zazen

Post by Emmet » Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:38 am

I sit Burmese; this is essentially how I was taught:
Zazen instructions
And this was the instruction manual:
Fukanzazengi
May all beings plagued with sufferings of the body or mind be quickly freed of their illnesses.
May the frightened cease to be afraid, and may the bound go free.
May the powerless find power,
And may people think of befriending each other.

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KeithA
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Re: Zazen

Post by KeithA » Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:08 pm

shanyin wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:36 am
How do I practice zazen? I have heard that focus on breathing meditation can be called samatha, jhana, mindfuless of breathing (anapanasati).

Is zazen sitting in lotus or half lotus and doing nothing?
The typical (excellent) advice is to find a Sangha/Teacher who can help you with your questions. If there isn't a suitable option nearby, there are online options available. But, I would suggest you even do a little research and be willing to travel a little to find help with your questions. A lot can be done in a little time in terms of setting you off in the right direction.

Good luck!

_/|\_
Keith

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Emmet
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Re: Zazen

Post by Emmet » Sun Sep 02, 2018 4:35 pm

What Keith said.
There is nothing on-line or in books which will help you more than joining a real sangha and working with a teacher. The community of faith, the Sangha, is one of the Three Treasures of Buddhism; Buddhism was never intended to be practiced in isolation.
May all beings plagued with sufferings of the body or mind be quickly freed of their illnesses.
May the frightened cease to be afraid, and may the bound go free.
May the powerless find power,
And may people think of befriending each other.

shanyin
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Re: Zazen

Post by shanyin » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:20 pm

As I have said, there is no Sangha, or Buddhist centre where I live.

Miroku
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Re: Zazen

Post by Miroku » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:34 pm

Some sanghas like Kwan um Zen and I think Meido Moore's Rinzai sangha offer online sessions and instructions. Not sure but check it out. I'd trust both of them.

Edit: https://kwanumzen.org/online/
I might have been wrong about Meido... but can't tell where I got that idea.
Child, if you are not hypocritical and out of control, that is conduct.
~ Padampa Sangye

You say such clever things to people, but you do not apply them to yourself.
The faults within you are the ones to be exposed.
~ Padampa Sangye

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Meido
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Re: Zazen

Post by Meido » Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:33 pm

Miroku wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:34 pm
...I think Meido Moore's Rinzai sangha offer online sessions and instructions...
Thanks for the mention. We had a basic zazen clip up at some point, but production value and sound weren't great. We're in the process of getting something better up as part of a new series. Will announce here when things start going up, probably will be in an open YouTube channel.

If someone is interested in the Rinzai take on things, the book in my sig has detailed basic zazen instructions.
It is relatively easy to accomplish the important matter of insight into one’s true nature, but uncommonly difficult to function freely and clearly [according to this understanding], in motion and in rest, in good and in adverse circumstances. Please make strenuous and vigorous efforts towards this end, otherwise all the teachings of Buddhas and patriarchs become mere empty words. - Torei

The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice

Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org

tingdzin
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Re: Zazen

Post by tingdzin » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:47 am

I'll put on a plug for Meido's book -- it's extremely well done, and I wish I'd had it when I was starting out.

shanyin
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Re: Zazen

Post by shanyin » Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:43 pm

Is doing nothing in half lotus a form of meditation? Is that a form of zazen? Do nothing? Just breath? Dropping all doing? Please answer.

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bokki
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Re: Zazen

Post by bokki » Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:04 pm

As I have said, there is no Sangha, or Buddhist centre where I live.

a teacher of zazen, and koans, is the only true way to get deep into practice.
but, starting on your own, is a sign of boddhicitta.
eventually, you will have to rasort to a teacher, if we are talking a bout zen..
in the meanwhile, sit as much as you can, even over your limits..
so if you are interested, know that there is no easy, i want right now, solution..
have you read the instructions of dogen, keizan, and such.. maybe similar instructions from various teachers, posted in the net..
how do you sit, hmm..for how long..how many years..
do nothing..well that is hard to do, my fr..

here is a book in pdf, an old one ..evans wents..tibetan yoga..from page 101, u have a practical map of mahamudra practice..which, to a good extent, imo, is similar to the..: just sitting, shikantaza
https://selfdefinition.org/tibetan/Evan ... trines.pdf

boda
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Re: Zazen

Post by boda » Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:08 pm

tingdzin wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:47 am
I'll put on a plug for Meido's book -- it's extremely well done, and I wish I'd had it when I was starting out.
I'll 2nd that plug. :twothumbsup:

shanyin
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Re: Zazen

Post by shanyin » Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:05 am

My posts are missing. Why are you not answering my questions?

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rgibson
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Re: Zazen

Post by rgibson » Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:22 pm

I think your questions have been answered multiple times. If you're not able to find a sangha, have you read any of the introductory materials that were recommended in this thread? No one is going to spoon-feed you the answers. And your demanding tone comes across as a bit abrasive.

tingdzin
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Re: Zazen

Post by tingdzin » Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:05 am

shanyin wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:36 am
Is zazen sitting in lotus or half lotus and doing nothing?
No, it isn't.

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kirtu
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Re: Zazen

Post by kirtu » Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:47 am

shanyin wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:36 am
Is zazen sitting in lotus or half lotus and doing nothing?
No.
shanyin wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:36 am
How do I practice zazen? I have heard that focus on breathing meditation can be called samatha, jhana, mindfuless of breathing (anapanasati).
See this thread.

1. Sit on your cushion or on a chair (if you sit on a chair sit more towards the front of the chair, not with your back at the back of the chair). On a cushion it is best if your knees are on the floor. They should be below your pelvis. Your back should be straight. Your posture is relaxed but not too relaxed.
zazen_sitting_posture.jpeg
zazen_sitting_posture.jpeg (7.26 KiB) Viewed 415 times
2. Place your hands on your knees (this is not traditional but accepted and is easier to start with).
hands on knees med.jpeg
hands on knees med.jpeg (7.24 KiB) Viewed 415 times
It is better if you place your hands at your hara, three finger widths below your navel with the right hand over the left hand and the thumbs touching.
kodo-sawaki-zazen-posture.jpg
kodo-sawaki-zazen-posture.jpg (181.59 KiB) Viewed 415 times
3. Close your eyes about half way to cut too much visual input. Your chin is slightly tucked in and you are gently gazing about 3 feet in front of you focusing on nothing in particular.

4. Watch your breath and count your inhalations. Breath normally. As you sit, your breath with tend to slow down. Count from 1 to 10. When you reach ten, count from 1 again.

5. As you watch your breath and count thoughts and emotions will tend to "interrupt" or overwhelm you. You could easily find yourself thinking about something. When you notice that this has happened then gently bring your attention back to your breath and resume counting from 1. Sit for 5-15 minutes to start. Sit at least once a day.

You are practicing bringing your attention to your breath and simply counting your breath. This is beginning zazen. Zazen is all about bringing attention to the current moment. Zazen is not about trying to achieve a blank mind. The process of being aware of the breath, getting diverted by thoughts or emotions and bringing your attention back to the breath is the actual process. The counting is a kind of support for the practice.

As you do this practice, over time your mind will calm down.

Zazen is not actually shamata or anapanasati but incorporates it as a beginning. Within the Zen tradition zazen is a complete practice that combines would be seen from other traditions as the unification of shamata and vipashyana (so calming meditation and insight meditation combined) but within the Zen tradition is not spoken of in this way. However within the Zen tradition, and particularly within the Soto tradition, it is seen as the practice of Shakyamuni Buddha - one's sitting is seen as the same as Shakyamuni Buddha's from the start.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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bokki
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Re: Zazen

Post by bokki » Fri Sep 28, 2018 2:01 pm

an excellent post, there, kirtu. excellent!
to the point.
many diff points of view exist regarding this:
kirtu wrote:
Zazen is all about bringing attention to the current moment. Zazen is not about trying to achieve a blank mind.
just an example, Da Hui or MaTzu no mind.
but thats not for this thread.
Thanks!

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