So I’ve been into Soto Zen Buddhism for 2-3 years, but have struggled to maintain a regular meditation (zazen) practice for various reasons, but mainly just life generally getting in the way. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the ‘chatter’ in my head, by conflicting priorities and fast pace of life as a part-time working mother. This blog is, I suppose, a way to keep myself on The Path, to track my experiences of trying to maintain a zazen practice in the often hectic modern world.
I was going to call this blog Zazen 365, a kind of project where I blogged my experience of trying to sit every day for a year, but that seems too goal-oriented for Zen. Zen, if it could participate in this debate, would probably say that zazen is the ‘goal-less goal’, that just sitting each day is enough, without logging, targets or counting anything. And that feels right to me. I’m sure there will be days when I don’t sit (I’m due to give birth to a baby at the end of the year), but this is my commitment to sit for at least ten minutes every day. Obviously the general aim is to be more present and mindful all of the time, but formal zazen practice helps to shape that, I find.
Yesterday I found myself awake before anyone else in the house, so escaped to the zafu in the attic room to sit for fifteen minutes. It’s been a few months since I last sat, I’ve missed that moment of peace before the day started. I tend to sit in the Burmese posture, which wasn’t so comfortable yesterday (possibly due to some pregnancy-related hip problems I’ve been having).
Today I woke up early again and managed another fifteen minutes. My mind was much more wandering than yesterday, having come up with the idea of starting this blog during the sit. I felt sleepy, my eyelids felt heavy, but I find it easier to meditate at the start of the day.