Meditation Guide (Zazen) - yoga - retreats - meditation - self help - spiritual - holidays

Evening Meditation, Ladakh - India

Meditation Guide (Zazen)

There are as many methods in which one can meditate as there are waves in the ocean, but you can only surf one wave at a time.

It takes time, responsibility and a loving dedication towards your own personal growth to commit to a practice.

For your Meditation practice in your daily life, we strongly recommend that you choose a Meditation that appeals to you and stick with it! If you develop a regular Meditation session for a couple of months, your Body-Mind-Heart system will start to deeply feel the effects of it.

Chopping and changing and trying new methods is the easiest way of missing the point of Meditation practices and of wearing yourself out!

I strongly encourage you to ask questions. There is no right or wrong, clever or dumb question. Even the most experienced Meditators enjoy guidance towards what is happening in their practice and their relationship to it. All questions are relevant and can take you to a new level of understanding of what Meditation is and where you are with it.

Sitting Meditation (Zazen)

1) Sit comfortably either in a chair with your feet flat on the ground or cross-legged on the floor using a cushion under the buttocks for comfort and to prop up the hips higher than the knees. In either case the back should be straight as if a string was running up your spine through your head and into the sky, but without straining or forcing.

2) The palms of the hands are open and can be placed on the thighs, palms up, or as in Zazen meditation, you can bring the hands together, left palm on top of right palm, thumbs barely touching each other, resting comfortably against your lower abdomen. We can also use an Indian mudra hand position by turning palms up, resting them on our knees, and lightly index finger to thumb. Find a hand position that feels comfortable to your body.

3) Once a comfortable sitting position is obtained close your eyes and simply focus on your breath.

Breathing is natural, unforced and through the nose. The tongue is relaxed and it's tip is lightly touching the palate or roof of your mouth. Head is tilted slightly downward by pulling the chin in slightly, while keeping the imaginary string running up our straight spine and through the top of the head to the sky. The body is completely relaxed.

To help you start the practice, you can count the first inhale as 1, then exhale as 2, and so on until you reach 10, Then release the counting for the rest of the practice.

Thoughts are recognised without judgments and focus is simply brought back to its original focus. Each time you find yourself following a train of thought, bring your awareness back to your breath. Some people find it easier to mentally say the words ‘in’ for the inhaling and ‘out’ for exhaling.

Remember! There is no goal, there is no bad or good meditation, there is simply meditating.

There should be no desire for goals of any kind in your practice of meditation. Zen uses the term Mushotoku, which means ""without any goal or profit-seeking"". One should not seek any benefits from these moments but just simply BE.

Simply sit in a comfortable position, focus and breathe.

Benefits, though none are sought, are indeed derived from regular meditation practice. Some of them include increased ability to focus - especially amidst distractions, improved mind-body balance, a genuine feeling of calm and relaxation, improved physical and emotional health, an easier connection between yourself and others, and an awareness to right here and right now.