Only through self examination can you understand
Zen Meditation & Buddhism
Barry has been studying Zen Buddhism under Roshi Patrick Kundo Eastman from the Wild Goose Sangha.
Zen practice itself is very simple and yet utterly profound and capable of changing a practitioner’s life. Being totally attentive is at the heart of the practice by sitting in an upright posture that enables you to sit absolutely still and then watching each breath as it comes into your body and then as it leaves. It is a very practical way in which anyone can sit still in silence.
To sit regularly in this way is called Zazen and it has the effect of enabling you to be more attentive to every moment of your life. This means that we actually live our life. To experience life we have to be in the present moment and when we are dominated by the ego we are so often either filled with anxiety for the future or trapped in guilt for the past. Zazen in bringing to the present moment takes away our fear.
In liberating us it also permits us to live. not out of our heads, but from the deep centre. The Buddhists call this Joriki. Live our own inner truth that enables us to live a life of compassion to all others in our created world.
(Roshi Patrick Kundo Eastman – Wild Goose Sangha)
Other Sit Down Meditation
Meditation can sometimes be confused with mindfulness, however they are quite different. Meditation is the main tool used for Spiritual Development, to liberate you from Samsara and awaken you to Samadhi, enlightenment.
Mindfulness is a tool for concentration on a specific thing, hence the mind being full of something. This can be perform in many ways for different needs and goals, but no matter how it is done it can be extremely powerful.
Meditation and mindfulness done regularly (daily) can be an incredibly powerful and wonderful life changing exercise that you could ever wish to have. There is no limit to how deep your meditation can take you and to what you might experience to discover the ultimate reality.
Tai Chi As Meditation
Tai Chi is not a meditation or at least not for most of us, it is more of a mindful exercise, a process of conscious controlled focus and awareness of the mind and body which allows us to be 100% present in our Tai Chi practice. If we are not 100% attentive then we are not fully practising Tai Chi. It is only at the highest levels of surrender that Tai Chi practice can be called a meditation and be considered a path to samadhi.
Tai Chi Chuan master, Cheng Man-Ch’ing, was asked if he meditated. His answer was that he did Tai Chi Chuan. When pressed if he did seated meditation, he answered that he did not. He stated that Tai Chi Chuan was all the meditation that he ever needed.
Professor Cheng would occasionally say – to keep our minds empty of thought during our practice of Tai Chi Chuan.