Easy Does It Meditation

At the 40th anniversary of my Zen Master’s ordination, I asked him “Reverend Master Daishen, after 40 years in the monastery what is the most significant thing you have learned?”  Without hesitation he replied, “When the bell rings, go to the meditation hall.”  In other words, just do it, stop making excuses, be consistent.  When the time comes to sit, just sit.

When we first met, we were sitting in a room, just the two of us drinking tea.  I was giving a litany of reasons why I couldn’t meditate.  My mind is too hyper, I can’t sit still for very long, I’m really kind of crazy, I have problems, etc…  I continued on and on, maybe a bit too long.  Finally he said, (and this is the kindest person I have ever known) “Friend, we don’t care what you think or what you believe, JUST SIT AND FACE THE WALL!”

He believed as did his teacher, that the most “direct path” was through Soto Zen or Serene Reflection Mediation and that is the path that I chose, but there is a large variety of meditation to choose from. It isn’t all just sitting cross-legged with your eyes shut. Let’s explore types of meditation.

Types of meditation include Buddhist practices, transcendental, zen, mantra, chakra, sound, guided and active. How can someone choose where to start? Think about the type of person you are overall, the amount of time and dedication you have, and where your interests lie. What do you intend to get out of meditation? continue reading »