What is Zen Buddhism?
Do I need to be a Zen Buddhist to come to the Open Mind Zen center?
Do I have to be Buddhist to meditate?
What can I expect from meditation?
What is the best way to learn how to meditate?
How do I know if I’m really meditating?
What do I do when thoughts come up?
How does meditation relate to daily life?
What are the practices and forms you use at Open Mind Zen?
The forms we practice in the Zendo (meditation hall) such as bowing, chanting together, enjoying noble silence, and moving in accord with the bells, offer a space for us to nourish our mindfulness of thoughts, speech and action. Upon entering the center we remove our shoes. It is normal, and expected that, when you arrive to talk and greet others, however when seated on your cushion or chair for meditation silence is observed. Discussions and formal Dharma talks are lead by our teachers and “mindful” speaking during these discussions is allowed and encouraged. “Mindful” speech avoids harming, lacks ill-will, is helpful and isn’t idle chatter. We bow to the teacher before speaking and the teacher bows back to acknowledge your desire to speak.
We alternate between sitting meditation (zazen) and walking meditation (kinhin). We meditate sitting on a cushion or a chair for approximately 30 minutes, followed by walking meditation for approximately 5 minutes. We repeat this pattern twice. Instruction in walking meditation is provided.