How do I do zen meditation by myself in my home?

How do I do zen meditation by myself in my home?

How do I do zen meditation by myself in my home?
I used to do it in a zen center, but I can’t really afford to drive back and forth to a zen center. Can I just sit zazen on my couch or what? I have a Buddha and incense, should I make an alter or what?

If you are going to say something involving how I should go to jesus or something, please just don’t answer.

  1. Silent ShadowApr 20, 2010

    Meditation require quiet, clean spot.

    Meditation require less distraction, especially people beside you. It is good to have a teacher to whom you can refer to after wards.

    Where ever these two points come together, you can meditate. Meditation is the inside stuff, not to worry if the room is completely empty, or as you say, with Buddha and incense.

    Also, off topic, I recommend you do not to keep any Buddha statues with you. Why? He is a religious figure and not a decoration piece (some do that) AND he did say not to pray his statues

  2. RudyHApr 20, 2010

    A quiet, clean spot, with as little distraction as possible. Best not too light or too dark, and the same location every time. As meditation has everything to do with creating a mental habit, everything that helps you in creating a habit and avoids too much distraction might help.
    You can make a little altar and do the statue and incense thing etc. if you like, but it is not essential at all.
    Also, it is better to sit every day for 5 minutes then twice a week two hours; daily meditation is considered pretty essential if you really wish to make some progress. Best again is to try and fix a specific time every day, for example straight after you get up, or just before going to bed, but a lot will depend on your personal situation of course.
    When you start a session, it is also good if you set yourself a (not too long) time for the session; don’t sit ’till you drop’, as it may cause you to give up meditation altogether.

    Regarding the Buddha statue, as long as you consider the statue just a reminder of who your example is on the spiritual path, it cannot harm at all. Of course you don’t want to be so superstitious that you feel like praying to the actual stone, wood or metal is needed. Rejecting Buddha images is probably just as narrow-minded as believing that a statue is going to save you. The middle way is to consider them as a symbol of respect to the historical Buddha and for your own future enlightenment.

    Oh, I almost forgot; meditation is not something that can only happen on a meditation cushion; actually we strive to live our whole lives in a meditatve state. So all advice on how to do your session is quite relative; you can also meditate waiting for the bus, sitting in the train, or even walking in the city – though that may not be very easy in the beginning!

  3. P'angApr 20, 2010

    You can certainly practice by yourself in your home. That’s what most practitioners do – I’ve done daily practice of Zen in just this way for 20 years.

    Of course, occasionally it’s good to visit your local Zen center to have an interview with a teacher or to participate in a retreat. These experiences will deepen your practice in important ways. But your daily practice doesn’t require this.

    All you need for daily practice is a place to sit. Since your home probably has a floor, you can sit on the floor. Just find a stable cushion to sit on and you’re good to go. Once you’re sitting, just follow your breath or perform any other mind practice that you’ve been taught.

    I like to sit in front of a small altar, although this is not required. Your altar can contain things that inspire you – a Buddha statue, incense, flowers, beautiful stones or seeds – and that support your efforts.

    For home practice, it’s good to practice in the same place every day – a place free of clutter and distraction (although most distraction comes from our mind!).

    And it’s good to sit at the same time every day, for the same amount of time. For example, I always get up at 6 a.m. and am on the cushion by 6:15 a.m. I sit for 25 minutes every day. After sitting I like to read a short excerpt from a book – it inspires my efforts. “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” and “Dropping Ashes on the Buddha” are good for this – short chapters, and to the point.

    Feel welcome to contact me if you have further questions.

  4. spinningblueApr 20, 2010

    Actually, you can use videos that you can find on the web to guide you. Check out the site below for examples.

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