Zazen”: Sitting Zen meditation as in “sitting zazen
Translates from Japanese into “facing the wall


– Find a quiet spot with few distractions

– Sit comfortably on a zabuton (meditation cushion), there is no need for pain

– If sitting is difficult or you have bad knees use a chair

– Sit upright, but not rigid

– Find intentional position of legs, not haphazard or sprawling

– Ground yourself into the floor, if sitting in chair have feet firmly on floor

– Find stable base, not wobbly, with knees preferably on the floor

Mudra: hand position in zazen- fingers laying atop one another, thumbs lightly touching

– Set timer or timer on cell phone (turn down volume of ringer)

– A stick of incense can be used as timer

– A candle can be lit


– Start with a gassho (deep intentional bow)

– Ring bell or chime to announce your intention to focus awareness on present moment

– Turn your attention to your in and out breath

– Eyes are half open in soft stare at wall in front and looking downward

– Slightly lengthen exhale by extending the out breath

– Count breaths to 10, if you are distracted or drifted away start over again at one

– Try and let go of internal chatter; when noticed simply return to the present moment

– No need to berate yourself for not being better at it

– When thoughts come up, notice yourself thinking and then let them go

– See noises and distractions as invitations to return to the present moment

– Return to your breath


– Ring bell or chime to bring yourself to the present moment

– Gently bring your awareness back into the room

– Gassho (bow) of gratitude, recognition

– Stand up next to cushion, fluff and straighten cushion for next person or next session

– Gassho to cushion, gassho to each other (Sangha: community)

– Walking meditation to exit, turn and gassho to room


©Douglas Beasley 2011