“Originally there is nothing. But Buddha practiced unmoving under the Bodhi tree for six years.
And for nine years Bodhidharma sat silently in Sorim.
If you can break the wall of your self you will become infinite in time and space.”
Zen Master Seung Sahn
There are many sitting positions one can use for this type of meditation:
- Full lotus,
- Half lotus,
- Burmese position (crossed legs),
- Stradling cushions (horseback style),
- Meditation bench,
- Sitting on a chair.
You can use any of these sitting positions which you feel most comfortable with, what is important is to find a position which is both stable and comfortable for you in order to have a straight back and relaxed body.
The hands should rest comfortably on one’s lap with the left hand sitting in your right hand (right hand on bottom) for men and the right hand sitting in your left hand (left hand on bottom) for woman. Your thumbs should be gently touching, forming an elliptical oval shape. Your hands should be relaxed not too tight and not too loose. In addition, there should be space between the arms and the body. This will allow for breathing easily.
It is important to keep the back straight when sitting in meditation. We can imagine pulling a string up from the head to make our spine straight. Our chin should be tucked in sightly to create a natural flow of energy between our head and body. Our eyes should not be too wide open or completely closed. Our gaze should follow the line of our nose. Our shoulders should be wide and open. Our tongues should rest confortably on the upper palate.
We should make our posture as natural as possible. There should be not any tension in our body. In the beginning of meditation we can place our attention on the belly and nostrils to feel the breath go in and out. After our mind is settled, we can begin to investigate our practice.
When we first begin to sit meditation, it is better to sit for a shorter time (25 – 40 min). The quality of sitting is far more important, than the quantity. Then we can lenghten the time of sitting.
In our temple we have three different sitting meditation lengths:
- Beginner: 40 minutes (Zen Weekends),
- Intermediate: 45 minutes,
- Advanced: 50 minutes.
During retreats the first round of sitting meditation is followed by 10 minutes of walking meditation.
For further information please contact us via e-mail. We hope that we can practice together during an upcoming zen retreat or Dharma event!