Zazen Practice - Dharma Rain Zen Center
"One inch of sitting, one inch of Buddha. Like
lightning all thoughts come and pass. Just once look into your mind-depths:
Nothing else has ever
Who am I?
Mystic traditions across the globe have asked this question;
all have an answer, found by stilling the mind. Many methods of doing this
As the mind becomes clear, self-centered thoughts and patterns drop away,
and a connection to deeper wisdom becomes accessible. This site offers
an explanation of our way, the practice of Zen Buddhism.
“Not thinking about anything is zen. Once you know this, walking,
standing, sitting or lying down, everything you do is zen. To know that the
mind is empty is to see the buddha. The buddhas of the ten directions have
no mind. To see no mind is to see the buddha.”
What is Zazen?
Za-zen means “seated meditation.” Zazen is a place
of refuge far beneath our everyday involvements, a place where we turn inward
for answers to the deepest questions of life, and for the ability to meet
our lives with wisdom, love, and compassion.
For twenty-five hundred years the practice of Zen meditation and the essence
of Buddhism has been passed from teacher to disciple. The method of this
practice is simple and direct. However, like any discipline, knowing of
it is not enough; Zazen requires time and effort sitting on the cushion,
training the mind, and doing the work that leads to transformation.
Zazen brings a state of stable, focused concentration by the act of repeatedly
bringing the mind back to the present. Dhyana, absorption, is the form
and method of zazen — the practice of letting go and returning to the
present. Cultivating this prevents distraction, but it is not a way
to escape or
the conditions around us. Zazen happens in and with the world, not apart
from it. The result of meditation is an ever deepening experience of
openness and serenity in the midst of life.
In Soto Zen, we use the method known as shikantaza, or “serene
meditation involves staying alert, aware and still, and “just sitting.” It
is an objectless method of meditation, simple and straightforward, but
radical in its acceptance of conditions. Shikantaza is profoundly deep
over time. This meditation helps us see our minds clearly, for there
is nothing to do but watch how our habit patterns distract us from the
Seeing our mind clearly brings awareness of both the impermanence of
everything in the mind — each thought, feeling, pattern, idea — as
well as the limitlessness
of mind itself, a vast space that lies beneath all the clutter. The
practice of Zen is a direct method of finding this place of real truth within
ourselves, and learning to function with this wisdom.
"Within every moment of thought you should see yourself
that your fundamental nature is pure. You should cultivate for yourself,
pratice for yourself,
and accomplish for yourself the enlightenment of buddhahood."
Read what Zen master Dogen wrote about Zazen in Fukanzazengi.