Zazen is the classic Zen meditation. (Perhaps deceptively) sometimes
described as 'sitting quietly doing nothing'. A common practise among
Japanese Zen Buddhist monks and nuns.
It's traditional to sit in the lotus or half-lotus posture here,
(see Posture) but if this is uncomfortable
for you then sit in a straight-backed chair.
Your hands should rest in the lap, with the both hands palm uppermost,
and the left hand resting on the right hand. The tips of the thumbs
should be lightly touching each other.
Make sure your spine is straight. Push your lower back forward
slightly and expand your chest while making sure your head is upright.
Gently move from side to side until you find the balance point that
is most comfortable.
Keep your eyes open just a tiny bit ('neither open nor closed') and
look at the floor a few feet in front of you. Breathe in and out through
your nose, keeping your mouth shut and the tongue resting gently against
the roof of the mouth.
Take a few deep breaths, exhaling all of the air in your lungs each time,
and then let your breathing find it's own natural deep rhythym, without
force of any kind.
Watch the breath. When the mind wanders, gently bring it back again to
that simple awareness. Be still. Relax. Be easy on yourself. Don't judge
yourself harshly. Just keep the attention on your breathing, and when
the mind wanders, just gently bring it back again.
Be here now. Engage fully in the moment. Breathe, and be fully, vitally
When you choose to come out of the meditation, first come back to a full
sense of being engaged in all of your body. Then gently move your
your upper body around in small arcs before stretching your legs out.
Don't stand up too soon if your legs are stiff!
Contribution: Richard Ebbs, Leeds, England.