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Lions Roar : September 2010
SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2010 45 Zazen: just wake up by Grace Schireson when an idea arises, just wake up. sitting zazen is the dharma gate of bliss and repose. — Dogen-zenji, Fukanzazengi sitting meditation, called zazen in the Zen tradi- tion, has been described as just waking up—we wake up to the intimate reality within which we had been dreaming our lives. Zazen practice har- monizes body, breath, and mind, so that bodily posture, breathing, and mind’s activity become our most intimate companions. The method begins with settling into a seated posture. Then, spine erect, we are aware of the breath entering the soft belly and we count each breath one through ten as it exits the body. such a simple method, but it establishes our basic disci- pline to watch what actually is. Zazen strengthens concentration while provid- ing intimacy with our own mind. we begin to see ourselves with clarity and develop the tolerance to continue viewing and accepting whatever we find. watching the actual workings of our mind, we are connected to the source of our life. in the beginning our mind may wander, but as we settle into meditation we find we are truly nowhere else but intimately present. whether on or off the meditation seat, we are always present in this intimate yet boundless space. it is intimate because we face ourselves unfiltered; it is boundless because there is a sense of spaciousness watching what is arising. we face ourselves in a reflecting pond, becoming more and more intimate with this awareness that self- reflects. we come to know that which is aware, and we see what we have come to call “me” and “my life” reflected within it. we see our thoughts and feelings just as they are, without any positive or negative spin. we see our longing and vulnerability. Through soft awareness on breath, mind, and physical presence, our concentration strengthens and we begin to accept this view of our inner life naked before us. of course, in the beginning we may be shocked by what we see arising. we may wish to turn away PaiNTiNGBykeiThaBBoTT