Practice in a space suffused with peace
In my earlier introductions to the practice of meditation, I understood it as a study in asceticism, of non-attachment which I took as dissociation from the embodied life. What a shock it has been to discover so many years later that this is the antithesis of meditation. We first ground ourselves in our visceral experience, the “felt sense,” and then we pay very close attention indeed to our chatter, to our patterns of thought. But as Roshi Joan Halifax counsels, we attend to our thoughts, but we “don’t necessarily invite them in to sit down for tea.”
The principle of nowness is very important to any effort to establish an enlightened society. You may wonder what the best approach is to helping society and how you can know that what your are doing is authentic and good. The only answer is nowness. The way to relax, or rest the mind in nowness, is through the practice of meditation. In meditation you take an unbiased approach. You let things be as they are, without judgment, and int hat way you yourself learn to be. ~Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
[M]editation gives us the opportunity to have an open, compassionate attentiveness to whatever is going on. The meditative space is like the big sky—spacious, vast enough to accommodate anything that arises. . . In meditation, our thoughts and emotions can become like clouds that dwell and pass away. Good and comfortable, pleasing and difficult and painful—all of this comes and goes. So the essence of meditation is training in something that is quite radical and definitely not the habitual pattern of the species: And that is to stay with ourselves no matter what is happening, without putting labels of good and bad, right and wrong, pure and impure, on top of our experience. ~Pema Chodron
Thirty minutes in a tranquil and sacred space, 8-8:30 am each day. Unguided but a suggestion, a thought offered each week as inspiration. Stay tuned to the News page for information about guided meditation sessions and classes.
Open to the public without charge (but donations graciously accepted).
Wear loose clothing. Take a seat on a meditation cushion (zafu) or seiza meditation bench or sit in a chair. Share the silence.
Jon Seichō Kenzen McCollum has been practicing Zen meditation since 1995 and has trained at various monasteries and Zen centers including in Japan, the Sōtō training monasteries of Eiheij and Sojiji, and in the United States, Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Zen Mountain Monastery in the Catskill Mountains, Endless Mountain Zendo in Pennsylvania, and the Village Zendo in New York.