Zen Meditation

Greetings Zen Students,

Welcome to the Tuesday  sitting group.

We begin sitting at 12:10pm for a silent 30 minute round of meditation.

If you are coming for the first time, please call and let me know (970-231-0496).

Daisan is now being offered in the second half of the sitting.

At 12:20 a bell will ring and those wishing to go to Daisan may leave one at at time, starting at the door nearest the rope wall. Daisan is a personal one to one meeting between the student and a senior student  to discuss one’s personal practice. Typically the meeting is brief and to the point.

It is okay to come to daisan not knowing what you want to say. This ‘beginners mind” of “just showing up as you are” is also an step into investigating the dharma.

In Zen training we learn to break down barriers created by self-centered delusion.  Round after round, day after day, year after year, this practice goes on, breath by breath. As we cultivate relationships of unconditional presence and open-heartedness, the daisan interchange can be the beginning of seeing into our habit forces.

The ceremonial way of entering and leaving the daisan room involves bowing on both the student and teacher’s part to set the atmosphere of mutual respect and reverence for the teaching. Please make a standing bow across the threshold as you enter the room, then approach the student mat and as you bow to the teacher, the teacher will return the bow. State your question or your practice, and then when the exchange is done, make a seated bow, a standing bow, and one more bow out the door.  All this bowing is in deep acknowledgement of the non-dual teaching of the dharma.

 

Here is a quotes from Zen Teacher, Robert Aitken.”Becoming Settled”

Each moment is eternity itself. How do you practice that?
Come to a halt. Stay there.
Settle there. Treat each breath as though it were your last.
Someone asked me, How should I treat each breath as though it were my last?I said, Breathe each breath  count.
Settle into the breath counting.
Sink into one, two, three.
Put everything else to one side.
Let everything else go.
Let there be only the breath and the number you are on.
Let the  breath  breathe the  breath.Don’t wander about in your head and validate shadows anymore.
Open yourself to the world, the sound of the wind, the airplanes overhead.
They help you stay oriented.”

 

 

Peggy Sensei’s talk on March 6th was a look into devotion, what it means, how it works in our life, how do you get it if you want more of it? She quoted an important phrase on the pillars in every Zen Temple around the world:

 

GREAT IS THE MATTER OF BIRTH AND DEATH

LIFE PASSES QUICKLY BY

DON’T WASTE A MOMENT

WAKE UP    WAKE UP

 

Peg Sensei’s talk on Nov 2nd was on questioning what comes from sitting still? What is going on when we don’t physically move? A short summery of the talk is that when the physical body is still, it is easier to bear witness to the rumblings of the mind. As the body gets quiet, so follows the mind. The mind likes to do one of three things when it encounters a desire: it likes to go toward it, or avoid it, or be numb to it. Depending on the desire, if we like it or are strongly adverse to it, the mind has this habitual way of responding. Sit still and bear witness to how the mind reacts, be with it without adding to it or subtracting, or zoning away, see what is there! Sit long enough to see what is there when our habits drop away.

 

Peggy  had the following quotes to share:

Herman Hesse: “within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.”

Lao Tzu: “Through return to simple living comes control of desires. In control of desires stillness is attained. In stillness the world is restored.”

Bhagavad Gita: “Still your mind in me, still yourself in me, and without a doubt you shall be united with me, Lord of Love, dwelling in your heart.”

Chuang Tzu: “If water derives lucidity from stillness, how much more the faculties of the mind! The mind of the sage, being in repose, becomes a mirror of the universe, the speculum of all creation.”

Eckhart Tolle: Your innermost sense of self, of who you are, is inseparable from stillness. This is the I Am that is deeper than name and form….. It is the stillness that will save and transform the world.”

Zen Master Dogen:

Cast aside all involvements, cease all affairs and let the myriad things rest. Setting everything aside, do not think of good or evil, right or wrong. Halt the flow of the mind, cease conceptualizing, thinking and observing and give up even the idea of becoming a Buddha. This holds true not only for seated zazen but for all your daily actions.