Zen Practice

Much more than philosophy, rituals, or sutras, the core of Zen Buddhism is meditation practice. Our particular type of practice is called zazen (“sitting Zen”) or shikantaza (“just sitting”).

You may be familiar with some forms of meditation that involve music, visualizations, or chanting. Zen does not use any of these tools, opting instead for simple techniques like counting breaths as a way to stay present.

The goal of zazen is not to tune the world out or to achieve some otherworldly state of enlightenment. In fact, it might be more properly said that zazen has no goal at all. When sitting zazen, we practice being mentally present in this very moment, just as it is. Sometimes you have an itch or some pain in your back. Sometimes there is a loud siren outside the window. These things are not obstacles: they are exactly the world as it is.

AZC meets regularly to sit zazen for periods of 25 minutes with short walking meditations between sittings. There is no cost to practice with us. If you are interested, please do come to join us.

New to Zen?

If you are new to Zen Buddhism, please email us at zen@alaska-zen.org to set up a time to talk.

If you can’t stay for the entire practice period, don’t worry. You can always arrive or leave during periods of kinhin (walking meditation) or before the service or dharma talk.

Come Sit With Us