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When you went for a ZEN meditation for a couple of hours for the first time??

Pls describe your experience
ques is actually for those who’ve done this
[or Buddhist meditation]


  1. When you sit zazen, most people expect some trippy alpha-brain wave wacked out experience, and that’s not what it is. They have drugs for that, zazen is not that. Zazen is action in the present moment. It is singly the most important thing a person can do, and it results in absolutely no benefit whatsoever. If one seeks peace, do not do zazen. It gives you the opposite of peace, it gives you the ability to see yourself as you are. This is a frightening experience, because you are a chaotic mess. So am I, so is everyone. Zazen is the action of seeing reality as it is, in all its disgusting, ugly, wonderful beauty. Zazen IS enlightenment.

  2. The first time I successfully meditated was in a forest surrounded by trees. I just sat there and breathed really deep and relaxed my entire body. With my eyes remaining open, my vision went away completely and nothingness consumed my whole being.
    The more you practice the easier and more intense it gets.

  3. I’m a psychotherapist and a meditation teacher. I see those two things as very related, and in both settings I often say, “If you want to help someone change, love them the way they are.”
    Zen meditation is really loving yourself the way you are by just sitting there and being yourself. Paying non-judgmental present attention to how things are, resting your awareness in the rise and fall of your belly as you breathe, “showing up” for yourself and your life right here, right now — that’s both nothing special and a profound kind of love.
    So when I’ve sat Zen meditation for extended periods of time, I typically feel more present, more intimate, more honest. Sometimes there’s a kind of awe that naturally arises, as the inherent beauty of things “just being” becomes so obvious. Sometimes there’s a sense of tedium and boredom, a kind of flat feeling. And sometimes, just sitting there, I start to cry.
    And I have seen that in monasteries. Maybe 60 people sitting hour after hour, day after day, just looking at a wall. And after a few days, maybe 20 of them are weeping. It’s like — just by being that matter-of-factly and naturally present — you give yourself a chance for your wounds and heartaches to find you and to heal themselves.
    There can also be a fair amount of physical discomfort, especially early on in one’s practice. But somehow, it’s not just physical — given half a chance, psycho-emotional and spiritual processes will make use of your body as a kind of theater to work out the kinks and psychic knots.
    Right now I’m reminded of a Zen teacher of mine who was once asked, “If Zen is all about being present, why do you guys go away on retreats?”
    He replied, “We go on retreat to take a break from our habitual way of relating to our lives. Our habitual way is to be forever retreating from our lives. So we go on a retreat to take a break from retreating from our lives.”


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