On Zazen Being Hard

Morning Zazen Practice
Morning Zazen Practice

Zazen is just sitting there on a cushion, so it’s really easy. Until you try to do it for more than 30 seconds. Then it can get kinda difficult. I have been sitting for a few years now, and I still remember when 5 minutes felt like a long, painful time to be sitting still.

If you’re having a hard time sitting for long periods of time, like the 30 or 40 minute sits we do at All Beings, try doing zazen at home. Do it for 5 or 10 minutes, once or twice a day. 30 or 40 minutes doesn’t feel so long for a few of us, but to beginners, it can feel like an eternity.

If you find yourself thinking the whole time, that doesn’t really mean you’re doing it wrong, and that you’re bad at zazen, and that you should stop. It actually means you’re doing it right, because you’ve just noticed that you’re thinking a lot, that your mind wanders. I believe the idea is to, when you notice, try to bring your mind back to a still point, ‘thinking non-thinking’ as it’s said. This’ll probably last about 10 seconds, and that’s ok. Just keep trying.

We call it practice for a reason. If someone handed you a violin and said ‘play this’, you’d be bad at first. It’s the same with anything, and certainly with zazen. The more you do it, the ‘better’ at it you get. Also – it’s not necessarily supposed to be ‘enjoyable’, though it can be.

But yeah, sit for shorter periods more often, and talk to Bobbi about posture, which is really important for your physical well being. —Sam Reggio

July 26th, 2015 – Zen Retreat with the Cicadas

Full Day Zen Retreat All Beings Zen Sangha
Sunday July 26, 2015


Join us for a day of Dharma study, zazen/sitting, walking and oryoki meals at the height of summer. Early birds begin at 6:30 and late joiners at 8am. We will conclude the day with refuges by 5pm. – The day will include work practice, Dharma Talk, multiple periods of zazen and two meals eating Oryoki style. Please R.S.V.P by email to Inryu@bagheerayoga.com.
Note: From 8-9:30am we will include our monthly dharma study. The topic this month is Dogen’s Genjokoan.