I visited a Soto sect temple for practicing Zazen

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The other day, I visited a Soto sect temple in the middle of a mountain for practicing Zazen.

I stayed there for two days, and I practiced Zazen.

Before leaving, I copied a Buddhist scripture. It was a religious training called “Syakyo”.

The experience in the temple gave me a new awareness.

I’d like to write about that.

Zazen is part of the traditional training methods in the world of Zen Buddhism.

However, Zazen has become widespread beyond a country and its cultural, religious, gender, and generational differences.

Zazen is a very simple training, but it has the power to lead us to have peaceful minds.

I had practiced Zazen countless times. My Zazen seat cushion has been squashed flat through long-term use.

For me, Zazen had been one method to get peace of mind and feel safe.

But I came to feel as if Zazen was mental distress before I knew it.

What was wrong with me?

I visited that temple to get advice from the chief priest. 

He said, “Don’t try to obtain the best effect that suits you. All you have to do is to practice Zazen.

This is because the purpose of Zazen is to practice Zazen”.

I noticed that my attitude toward Zazen was wrong.

Zazen isn’t mindfulness.

I learned that the best way to keep my peace of mind is to face myself without thinking anything.

So, all I have to do is to focus on Zazen.

Specifically, I’m trying to pay attention to my breathing during my Zazen practice.

By doing that, I can concentrate on Zazen.

When I lose my concentration, various distractions come up in my mind one after another. I’m immature.

Reaching a spiritual place of nothingness may be impossible for me. 

However, I will continue to practice Zazen.

The process of making an effort is the most important.

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