applying ourselves to the way of Buddhism through zazen
all of us possess a natural wisdom of being. Actively discovering how we can rely on this dimension of ourselves frees life from unnecessary suffering. Seated meditation (zazen), together with a wholehearted engagement with daily living, reveals the freedom that comes with trusting our real nature. This selfless activity benefits others as well as ourselves. Zazen is central to Soto zen.
to just sit with an open and aware mind, together with an upright and alert posture, is zazen.
The posture is one of dynamic acceptance and so the mind is naturally focused, responsive and unbounded. Body and mind functioning without division is our original freedom that is not limited to any particular activity but found everywhere.
Buddhism was founded around the life and teaching of the Buddha Shakyamuni, over 2,500 years ago in northern India.
As Buddhism spread, many different forms emerged due to the character of different teachers and the cultures through which the teaching passed.
The form of Mahayana Buddhism that is known as Zen emerged as a distinct school in China in about the 8th century.
Our school of Soto Zen was introduced to Japan in the 13th century by great master Dogen. Within the Soto Zen school there are many teaching lines and each has its own particular flavour. Zen literally means meditation and zazen or seated meditation is the heart of our practice.
All beings already have the same enlightened nature as the Buddha but we obscure it when believing that we are separate, isolated beings.
In having faith in practice, we can begin to see how this burden of isolation comes about – because we are misunderstanding our own nature.
In trusting in what we and all things are, confidence can grow in a freedom that is essentially unburdened. This is the heart of zazen.
Compassion, both for oneself and all beings, is at the heart of this process. Compassion is the living wisdom of everything in its true place.