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Basic Zen Meditation Technique

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 Find a quiet place and sit in a comfortable cross legged position. If using a zafu or similar meditation
cushion, sit on the forward third of the cushion. The objective is for your hips to be raised above your knees
and to form a three point base with your knees and buttocks touching the floor/cushion (leave a comment below
if want to use a chair or meditation bench and would like me to explain those details).
 Set your alarm or other time device for 20 minutes.
 Now elongate your spine upwards and to align it with the back of your head, subtly bring your chin back
and in like a soldier at attention. There will be a slight inward arch in your lower back.
 Now rock gently from side to side in big arcs, making them smaller and smaller till you drift to a stop. You
should find yourself perpendicular to the floor with no tension or pull from either side.
 Have your eyes half open with an unfocused gaze on the floor in front of you. You should be looking down
at a 45 degree angle about 2 to 3 feet in front of you. You may also close your eyes if you prefer.
 Bring your hands to your lap and place them in the cosmic mudra. To do this rest your right hand on your
lap, then rest your left hand on top of it and have your fingers overlap. Now bring the thumb tips together thus
forming an oval frame.
 Close your mouth, swallow your saliva creating a slight vacuum and place your tongue against the roof of
your mouth. After this point there should be absolutely no more movement of the body. No fidgeting,
scratching, shifting – nothing – be like you are frozen in time.
 Take 5 deep, slow breaths though the nose. This will oxygenate your blood and relax you.
 Now bring you attention to your breath without trying to manipulate it further in any way, just become
aware of its flow. Spend a few minutes just observing it intimately till it starts to become regular and relaxed.
 At this point begin counting your breath. Count an inhalation as one, then the exhalation as 2 and continue
to count your breaths until you reach 10. At which point return to 1 with the next inhalation. If at any point
you get caught in a mental story line and loose your count, gently, without passing any judgment, return to 1
and start over. That’s it, continue for the duration of the meditation.
Intermediate Zen Meditation Technique:

Follow all the steps for the Basic Zen Meditation Technique, except for the last step a complete
inhalation and exhalation cycle should be counted as 1. So you will do 10 full cycles of inhalation
and exhalation before returning to 1. You can also increase the time to 30 – 40 minutes.

Advanced Zen Meditation Technique:

Follow all the steps for the Basic Zen Meditation Technique, except for the last step instead of
counting the breaths, just “be the breath”. Don’t try to jump to this step too soon, first build your
concentration and focus. You can also increase the time to 1 hour.

Hints and Tips for Zazen:
 Do some stretching or Yoga before sitting in zazen. It will help your body adjust better.
 Be regular, the benefits of this meditation are vast, but they take time to manifest.
 Some good internet resources and books on zen meditation and zen teachings are listed below…
 Charlotte Joko Beck’s Ordinary Mind Zen School and her book Everyday Zen: Love & Work
 Zen Mountain Monastery – Mountain and Rivers Order of Zen Buddhism
 Shunryu Suzuki’s San Francisco Zen Center and his book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind
Secret of Zazen:
The secret of zazen does not lie in the awareness of the inhalation or the exhalation. It lies in the
gap in between these breaths. It lies when the breath is spontaneously suspended. It is in this gap where
the mysteries of the Universe are hidden. This gap and the gap between 2 thoughts are best

.  Feel the harmony that comes when the air element is in balance.  Take another deep breath in.  Take another deep breath in. and able to find solutions to your problems.  About 80 percent of your body is made up of fluid.  Feel the flexibility that comes when the water element is in balance. and friendly. as you breath out become aware of the space in your mind. True peace abides right here. and in this silence between 2 thoughts the absolute is revealed. it will come about naturally.  By bringing your awareness to your breath you can bring the air element in the body into balance.  You are a part of the same five elements that exist in nature. You feel alive. compassionate. as you breath out become aware of the warmth in your body. friends. as you breath out become aware of theblood rushing through your veins. We hope you enjoy this meditation whenever you may need it to bring you a deeper connection to all that is sacred and beautiful within you and your world. in this present moment.  Sit comfortably and quietly with your eyes closed.  Feel the peace that comes when the space element is in balance. Don’t try to force this pause. We spend most of our time thinking about events in the past or planning for the future. You feel loving.  Feel the stability that comes when the earth element is in balance. Shanti. as you breath out become aware of your flesh and bones. You feel very grounded and rooted like a tree.  Take another deep breath in. right now. able to withstand all the challenges life brings your way. just continue with your zazen. The Five-Element Meditation Find a place where you can relax and not be disturbed. Experience the feeling of being in harmony with nature within and around you.  Take another deep breath in. as you breath out become aware of the air moving out of your lungs.  Take another deep breath in and let go. You feel anchored in the present moment.  By bringing your awareness to the warmth in your body you can bring the fire element in the body into balance. Shanti.  Take a deep breath in and let go of all the cares of the day.  Just by bringing your awareness to the space in your mind you can bring the space element in the body into balance. creative.  Feel the energy that comes when the fire element is in balance. That flexibility will help you to navigate all the concerns of your day.  Chant Om Shanti.  Just by bringing your awareness to your flesh and bones you can bring the earth element in the body into balance.  Take another deep breath in. Just by bringing your awareness to the fluids in the body you can bring the water element into balance. May there be peace and harmony within you always.

Relax.slowly and deeply. A time for total relaxation and inner stillness. deep breath in.hold it for a moment.. Now this peaceful feeling flows down your neck and deep into the muscles in your shoulders…soothing them…releasing them. Let the muscles in your forehead and temples relax.. Empty your lungs completely with your out- breath. . Turn your attention to your back.all the way to the tips of your fingers. your mind relaxes.. Take a long slow. Hold it for a moment. Now bring your awareness to the top of your head. and then exhale.. Relax your buttocks.... Rest your hands loosely in your lap. deep breath in. Now the peaceful feeling flows through your lower body. Feel all these large. Turn off your phone and dim the lights. Relaxing and soothing. Take a third deep breath in.hold it. like wisps of clouds on the breeze....the back of your thighs. Continue to breathe slowly and gently. Now the peaceful sensation flows through your chest and your stomach. Guided Meditation Script "Deep Inner Stillness" Guided Meditation Script Part 1 Introductory Relaxation Find yourself a quiet place to sit. strong muscles becoming loose and relaxed.. and that you are seated comfortably. Soothing and relaxing. Allow your eyes to relax. Breathe. Take another long slow.. Just allow any tension to melt away as you gradually relax more and more deeply with each breath. and feel this relaxing sensation flow all the way down your spine. Now close your eyes. Already you are beginning to drift into a state of deep relaxation. Feel how this area gently rises and falls as you breathe. Your thoughts become weightless. As your body relaxes. Allow this peaceful feeling to flow through your arms. and then slowly exhale. Sense or imagine a feeling of relaxation beginning to spread down from the top of your scalp. Let your cheeks and jaw soften and let go of all tension.the front of your thighs. This is your time. and then let it go. Take a moment to make sure that you are warm enough... Take your time..

Soothing feelings flow down through your knees. and go on an inner journey. A journey to a place of deep inner stillness. Now your feet relax. and into your calves. . Your ankles relax. Your entire body is soft. Now it’s time to leave the external world behind. calm and relaxed.