Still Water Zendo
"When the water is
the moon appears."
cannot be found in words or descriptions. As soon as it is described, it
is not Zen. Life is thought of as a gift to be experienced - an
investigation into life. Awakening occurs when one realizes that our
situation is both hopeless and wonderful. Concentration is developed to
gain awareness of the eternal, timeless moment. From this, a joy begins to
develop as one accepts the circumstances of their life just as they are; the
very purpose of life found in the deceptively simple activity of experiencing.
When one looks very carefully, the self cannot be found. The self is
actually an activity shaped moment by moment. The ultimate goal of Zen
then is to live an experiential life where one loses the "self" to
gain a pure experience of reality.
Zen literally means to meditate, this is the primary path to awakening.
In Zen practice, mediation is known as ‘zazen’ and is the heart of
the practice. During zazen,
practitioners sit with an unsupported, erect spine.
This can be done in a variety of postures including: full-lotus,
half-lotus, Burmese (cross-legged posture with ankles placed in front of
sitter), seiza (kneeling posture), or sitting in a chair.
The hands are placed in a ‘cosmic mudra’ with eyes half-open.
The practitioner then just sits, neither seeking, nor turning away from
stimuli. The analogy of a reflective
pond can be imagined…the water will reflect whatever passes overhead.
If clouds float above, the pond reflects and does not grasp at them.
If birds fly overhead, the pond again reflects them perfectly, not
worried about their passing. All
things that float above the pond are reflected and noticed, but are not clung
Marks of Existence:
– this is the concept that all things are in a constant state of flux.
To grasp and seek permanence is the root of suffering.
– this is the idea that seeking and becoming behaviors will inevitably lead to
dissatisfaction – one will never find lasting, deep satisfaction in such
– this is the understanding that all things depend on each other to exist.
'This' is, because 'that' is.
There is no abiding “self” to be found.
Four Noble Truths:
noble truths help us to awaken to life by shifting our perspectives. They
are actions to be accomplished to develop wisdom and compassion.
- this must be fully known and understood.
- this must be let go of.
- this must be experienced.
Eight-fold Path - this must be cultivated.