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“Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.” Zen proverb
Feel welcome to this WEEKLY ZAZEN/ MEDITATION drop-in session with experienced Hamid Ebadi – every Monday night from 8 to 10pm on conscious heart donation basis. If you are new to the practice, please arrive by 7.45pm.
The practice of Zen meditation is about sitting in an upright position and paying attention to whatever is unfolding in the moment. The mediator allows for thoughts, images and sensations to arise and to pass without judgment or involvement and keeps coming back to the posture, to the breathing and to the present moment.
The sessions will be comprised of two sitting periods (zazen) of 30 minutes each alternating with a 10 minute meditation walk (kin hin) followed by a talk and a question/ answer period.
We sit not to become a buddha or anything other than who we are. The gift of zazen is simply to allow us to embrace the being that we are without feeling the need to change it in any way. That may sound simple but is a difficult thing to embrace for it means relinquishing fantasies about who we would want to become. Wanting to change, wanting to transform, to remodel and refashion, is what brings us to practice. We have words for that, galore: path, detachment, journey, teachings, seeker, realization, liberation, enlightenment……one by one, zazen, over a long period of time, takes them away from us. Takes them away from us is what Master Dogen calls shin jin datsu raku / casting off body and mind. Takes them away from us much like the stream, in her continuous flow, over time, takes away the rough edges off the stone fallen in its bed. Makes it smooth and polished, over time. What am i left with at the end is the question you no longer ask once you have been graced with having everything taken away from you. Everything taken away from you is how we could read, Dogen again: to study the way is to study the self, to study the self is to forget the self, to forget the self is to be confirmed by myriad existences.
This is about a practice of deep acceptance without expectation of any reward or outcome while at the same time it’s a practice that receives us with all our expectations and endless demands. And in Buddhism, if practice does bring any merit, we happily offer those merits to all beings. Offering merits to all beings is awakening to the reality that all beings and i are simply an expression of the gift of life that keeps changing hands freely without a giver, a receiver, a giving, a receiving. This openness is an expression of vacuity, shunyata in sanskrit. we could say emptiness dawns on us when we cease seeing our self as the center of the world, no longer seeing the self as the center from which I see the world is awakening to the world as my true self. Nothing to give, no one to give it to, no one to receive it from, it is given, it is received, ceaselessly.