Thursday, November 18, 2010

Inside Your Zen Side

We think 60,000 thoughts per day, notes photographer Dana Lane. Via.

This season we've brought you Zen through art, food, films, writing, painting, theater, and literature.

Now we're bringing you to Zen.

Japan Society hosts its first-ever meditation workshops, Zen For Everyone, with renowned Buddhist scholar and priest, Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara. Enkyo Roshi currently serves as Co-Spiritual Director of the Zen Peacemaker Family, a spiritual, study and social action association. Her focus is on true self-expression, peacemaking and HIV/AIDS activism. She holds a Ph. D. in Media Ecology and taught Multi-media at my alma mater, New York University for over 20 years.

In three separate workshops on November 21, December 12 and January 8, Enkyo Roshi discusses the spiritual side of Japan Society's Hakuin exhibit, and instructs on proper zazen (sitting meditation) technique. According to Village Zendo, where she teaches, here are several key points to remember:
Whatever position you choose, sitting in a chair, full lotus, half-lotus, Burmese, or kneeling with a cushion or bench, choose a posture you can hold comfortably for 30 minutes.

Once seated, roll your hips slightly forward, allowing your belly to relax and your breath to move freely.

Center your spine by gently swaying from left to right in decreasing arcs.

Push the crown of your head toward the ceiling, straightening and extending your spine. Then relax your shoulders.
We've already discussed  the benefits of meditation in one’s daily life. It’s a great stress reliever, guides practitioners to a higher state of consciousness, and instills a greater sense of focus, which can be applied in any real world situation. But one question remains: how exactly does one truly meditate? Zen for Everyone is destined to enlighten all involved .


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