Introducing Insta-Zazen! ©
Last time, I said that true Zazen is not a matter of sitting, standing, walking, running, floating in a pond or flying through the air. ALL OF LIFE, each instant and every action, is “Zazen” when lived as such, with the same vigorous, sincere stance of “attaining non-attaining,” and vibrant “doing non-doing” that we’ve pointed to for so many days in this beginners’ series.
That does NOT mean, however,that we can give up “Zazen” on our sitting cushion, cross-legged or the like and facing the wall or floor. Please don’t misunderstand!
“All of life” is Zazen — but only – seated Zazen is Zazen, too, and is indispensable. (Please remember that Zen teachers often speak out of both sides of their no-sided mouths). In other words, every moment of the day can be a chance to practice Zazen in its all encompassing meaning, but one must still sit Zazen the old fashioned way as well, quietly letting thoughts go, facing the wall or floor. (In Soto Zen, it was traditional to sit facing the wall, but floor-facing has become about as common in the West). Do not misunderstand that point.
Still, the fact is that we can and should practice Zazen anywhere. This Practice is not limited by time or place, on or off the cushion. Anything, anywhere, anytime is Zazen if tasted as such.
Thus, to bridge the gapless gap between “on the cushion” and all of life “off the cushion,” I highly recommend to everyone JUNDO’s PATENTED “INSTA-ZAZEN” © throughout each day.
You don’t even have to “sit” for these “Insta-sittings©.“ Also, an Insta-Zazen © can be of any length, starting from but a moment until infinite time (really the same when all is timeless!). We do Insta-Zazen © at points in our day when just a bit of “Zen Mind”© will change our perspective on all things, when a touch of balance will bring life into balance…
Just standing in a creeping postal line, in the dentist’s chair, when the car won’t start on a cold morning, when driving and stuck in traffic, when the computer crashes, the baby is teething, waiting for the crossing light to change, the toast to toast, wherever and whenever… just do what you do in Zazen, with the Lotus Position fully optional (It tends to get in the way while driving or having a root canal, although it might work in the postal line if you keep pushing along.).
This is actually not such a radical departure from “traditional” practice. You see, life in a Zen monastery is filled with countless opportunities to bring the “Way of Non-Seeking” tasted on the cushion into daily activities: What’s the difference between the Kinhin (walking Zazen) line and the postal line? Even monks need to wash the windows and do the laundry (folding and sorting socks is an excellent time for a bit of “Folding Zazen”), and monastery life, like all of life, is filled with its challenges, tedious tasks and frustrations. Each place is a place for Practice.
In fact, if what we do on the cushion stays only on the cushion, what’s the point?
So, please try Jundo’s Patented Insta-Zazen © sittings throughout your day. In fact, for a limited time only, three (3) Insta-Zazens © can substitute for one (1) traditional sitting. (That is, if you’re sitting a minimum of (one) 1 or more traditional sittings each day. That’s still indispensable!).
Today I sit a bit on the train, between stations. There is no talk today, no opening or closing bells, not even sound. No special lesson. Just a guy sitting Zazen on the train …
CLICK HERE for today’s Sit-A-Long video.