Welcome to the Instruction Hall, featuring talks on meditation techniques, pitfalls, and encouragement given to students of past masters. These have been taken from the Archives of the Daily Zen Journal and are a suitable starting place for the beginner and the experienced practitioner alike.
As we are creating the Teishos, if we come upon one that will help the beginner, we will place add it here.
Practice of Meditation
Many are just beginning practice, and for those who have practiced for years, Dogen’s piece on meditation has points that even the “advanced” students have not mastered.
Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind
People say that practicing Zen is difficult, but there is a misunderstanding as to why. It is not difficult because it is hard to sit in the cross-legged position, or to attain enlightenment. It is difficult because it is hard to keep our mind pure and our practice pure in its fundamental sense.
About This Mind
Simplicity and clarity are to be valued in any teacher… The instructions given for watching the breath couldn’t be more simple, and the freedom to adapt the practice leaves us no excuse for not practicing.
Harmony – Part 1
No matter how many years we have practiced, or how many weeks, it is always refreshing to return to the beginning and look at meditation as if we are just being introduced to it. We can all benefit from a return to beginner’s mind.
Harmony – Part 2
This selection takes us into deeper steps of preparation to sit with attention to breathing clearly spelled out. Rather than following the breath into the abdomen and back out, Chih I has us breathe into every pore and out to the periphery of our entire body.
Harmony – Part 3
Like so many of the early teachers of Zen and meditation, there is an outline of preparing oneself for meditation, but there is seldom too much direction about what exactly it IS you are entering into.
Following the Breath with Mindfulness
No matter how many years we have practiced, or if we are just discovering a way to practice, we can maintain beginner’s mind. Beginner’s mind is that state before we know too much, before we can explain principles to anyone else, where everything is fresh and unexplored and full of wonder.