Thursday, October 8, 2009

Oh Yeah, 'Why do you do Zazen?'

Oh yeah, this question came up the other night. I thought it was a good one:

Why do you do Zazen?

Having my practical head on I said the reason that I sit zazen is because I did it this morning, and last night, and yesterday morning, and the night and morning before that... I wasn't messing around or being cute: One period of sitting (in my case) does seem to be a big reason as to why I do it next time, and I've noticed that a bit of reluctance to doing it starts creeping in if I miss a link in that sequential chain. I suppose this is an aspect of Zazen as a type of training. It's widely recommended that we practice regularly.

Of course, there are effects in doing Zazen that people enjoy too. Master Dogen refers to it as a 'joyful and ease-ful gate to the truth'. When we do it for a little while I think we can enjoy it as a nice rest from our usual activity; we don't have to follow our thoughts or engage our usual responses. It frees us up a bit and helps us experience ourselves a little more clearly. That's a nice feeling (even if it isn't always so easy or clear-cut in practice!)


  1. Hey Harry,

    How did you go about setting up your sitting group? Did you put advertisements out?

    I'm thinking about doing the same thing and haven't a clue about how to do it.



  2. Hi Al,

    My teacher Peter Rocca was coming over here so I lined up a once-off 'Zen Workshop' type event in a local arts centre. This was pretty well attended and it was well advertised as the arts centre promoted it through their own good promotional media (their website, mailing list, booklets etc).

    Some people at the workshop said they would be interested in a weekly event and so I decided to give it a go... but where are those people now?! Hee hee.

    I'm going to advertise it another little bit and just see how it goes. Good luck with your idea!