CREDOS: Mindfulness — III

Hinduism is so linked with meditation in the average American’s mind that one might almost believe Hinduism is only about quiet contemplation. Actually, Hindu meditation is one of several forms of expression, “one conveyance of many used on the spiritual journey,” says Marcia Z Nelson in “Come and Sit: A Week Inside Meditation Centres.” Not to say it’s not important: Yogis believe that breathing from the diaphragm is a key to good health, and that real happiness comes from the recognition of our innate divinity — so many Hindu meditations combine deep breathing with the chanting of mantras, sacred sounds representing the particular holy names of Hindu deities. There’s a nice reciprocity today between Americans practicing Buddhist meditation and Americans using Hindu or older Vedic practices. They seem to all see there is much to learn from trying each other’s methods.

The main practice in Zen Buddhism, Zazen is a Japanese word that means, “sitting concentration.” Yet Zazen is the experience of emptiness. More than other methods, correct posture is paramount. Back straight. Nose in line with the navel, ears squared with shoulders, chin tucked slightly. Lips are closed, teeth together, and the tip of your tongue is resting peacefully at the roof of your mouth, just behind the front teeth. This is the position the Buddha was in when he received enlightenment.

Zazen may sound hard to do with all its emphasis on discipline, but it’s the “meditator’s meditation.” concluded