Zazen and a World of Non-Separateness
Zazen – sitting meditation – is the beating heart of Buddhist practice. As a dual Mahayana/Tibetan lay Buddhist, much of the ancient and venerable Zen practices are a part of my practice. Zazen is the cornerstone.
So what is Zazen? When we meditate (called ‘sitting’), we are above all paying attention. You thought it was spacing out? Not so. Zazen is awakening to the present moment with the greatest lucidity. We sit in silence, and in that stillness, we listen. You’ll grapple with the thoughts that will invariably spring from the monkey mind. Still, just sit in silence, every day.
Zazen bears priceless fruits. But no wealth, education, or knowledge can buy them. It’s only through Zazen that we find the fruits.
How would you like to live from the center of your whole every moment of your life? By this, I mean that you’re no longer living in your past, or driving towards some future that hasn’t happened yet. It’s called ‘living in concentration’. You’re here and now. You’re home.
Zazen gives us glimpses of our true nature; the realization of our non-separateness. We’re one with each element in the universe. Thomas Merton wrote about the moment he realized his non-separateness. He was standing near a street corner somewhere in the U.S. – I think it was Kansas – watching people come and go. After some time, he realized that everyone, each person who passed him on the street corner, was somehow bound to him. This realization, he wrote, enveloped his whole being. That glimpse of non-separateness blazed a path for his great writings. He eventually wrote of non-separateness and his outpouring of love to the world.
They are I, and I am them.
With Zazen practice, we experience the unconditional love of the whole universe. And in turn, we give it back. It embraces us, and the only thing we can do is embrace it back.
Zazen is an experience of non-separateness and unconditional love that can be realized each day. All you have to do is sit.