What is Zazen?

ZazenDogen Zenji (the 13th century Japanese Zen master, who transmitted Soto Zen to Japan) wrote about zazen in his work called Fukanzazangi (Universally Recommended Instructions for Meditation or Zazen).

In part, he wrote: “Turn the light inward, illuminate the Self. Doing so, your body and mind will drop away naturally, and your original-Self will manifest. If you wish to attain suchness, practice suchness without delay.” And in Bendōwa Dōgen taught: “For disporting oneself freely in samadhi, practicing zazen in an upright posture is the true gate. Although this dharma is abundantly inherent in each person, it is not manifested without practice; it is not attained without realization.”

Zazen is our daily practice; it is our life of dedication to fully actualizing the present moment. When we can sit down and fully occupy our being/time with complete accordance with all beings then we truly experience ourselves. We cannot fully develop our wisdom and compassion without including all the factors and beings that co-exist and co-penetrate our world. Formally zazen is the act of sitting down, stilling the mind and applying ourselves completely to the present time of this moment. Informally zazen is our daily life actualized with all beings. It is also the activity of zazen when we do shopping zazen, driving zazen, cleaning zazen, and work zazen; to mention a few of the daily activities that fill our lives.

Zazen instruction is offered at the zendo the first Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. During that time you will learn how to sit zazen, physically and mentally and the forms used in our zendo.

Please wear modest and comfortable clothing and avoid perfume.

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