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, usually 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 join us.
New to Zen?
If you are new to Zen Buddhism, there are several opportunities each month to receive zazen instruction, and ask questions.
Every Sunday morning zazen instruction is offered at 8:00 AM, which is immediately followed by Sunday morning zazen at 8:30 AM.
If you can’t stay for the entire practice period, don’t worry. You can always leave during periods of kinhin (walking meditation) or before the service or dharma talk.