This is an opportunity for those new to Upaya and meditation to receive instruction on Zen meditation and zendo etiquette.
Next Saturday is the annual observance of  Mahapajapati‘s life as well as a great opportunity to celebrate women in Buddhism through the first female nun.
Every Saturday we offer early morning zazen (seated meditation), morning service, a brief drop-in meditation instruction at 8:30 am. This Saturday is both the annual observance of  Mahapajapati‘s life a great opportunity to celebrate women in Buddhism through the first female nun. Hartford Street Zen Center is a federally recognized 501(c)(3) Religious Organization EIN #:94-2820630.
You can see here that the right foot is placed on the left thigh, and the left foot is placed on the right thigh.
Explore our daily events calendar, read informative articles and peruse our featured business directory. You can see here that the right foot is placed on the left thigh or, alternatively, the left foot is placed on the right thigh.
Here, the right foot or left foot is placed on the calf.This is commonly called the Burmese posture, where one foot is placed in front of the opposing leg.
A lot of Western practitioners of zazen are able to sit in this cross-legged posture.In all cross-legged postures, it’s important to switch the legs out in order to maintain symmetry in the body.

For instance, if you sit at half-lotus with the left foot up on the right thigh, alternate your sitting periods by placing the right foot up on the left thigh.A popular alternative to cross-legged postures, this is the kneeling position, also known as seiza. The practitioner can use a bench or cushion to achieve this posture.Zazen can certainly be practiced in a chair. Extra care should be taken to be sure that the feet are firmly planted on the ground, and also that you don’t slump, especially in the lower back.Meditation SettingFor the regular practice of zazen, it is very helpful to set up a permanent spot for your practice. This should be in an area where you are unlikely to be disturbed for your periods of meditation. Many people like to use a Buddha figure, perhaps a vase of flowers, or anything that you consider sacred.The PracticeWhen beginning the practice of zazen, it’s very helpful to begin with a checklist. A way to achieve this is to sway gently from side to side and then come back to a center point. The chin should be tucked in slightly.A very common question that people have when beginning the practice of zazen or seated meditation is, “what do I do with the eyes?” in the practice of zazen we sit neither with eyes fully closed, which can tend to bring on a dreamy state, or to have them fully open, that’s where we can be distracted by our environment. You can try to bring a soft focus into the eyes so you’re not staring at anything in particular.The mouth should be lightly closed.
This creates a slight vacuum, which really helps in not producing a lot of saliva while we’re sitting.This is the cosmic mudra.
It’s very important to make sure your body is arranged the way you want it to be for the whole period of zazen.

It’s better to maintain stillness throughout the period as much as possible.When ending a period of zazen, please take care to be gentle with the body.
Notice any “pins and needles” or dull aches or pain on the leg and then take extra care to move very slowly before standing.The BreathHow do we work with the breath during the practice of zazen? But as a guiding rule, we let the breath really do what it wants to do.Beginners to zen practice and the practice of zazen often start with breathing practices to focus on during the sittings.
If that should happen, then it’s okay for a short period to just breathe through the mouth.
If we have a cold or a runny nose, then it’s fine to keep a tissue in your hand and just dab at your nose as neededAboutYokoji-Zen Mountain Center is a Zen Buddhist Training Center located in the beautiful wilderness of the San Jacinto Mountains of Southern California. Founded in 1982 by Taizan Maezumi Roshi, one of the pioneers of American Zen, Yokoji started life as a summer training center for the Zen Center of Los Angeles.
Since 1995, Yokoji has been functioning as a year-round Zen Training Center for residents and non-residents under the direction of the abbot, Tenshin Fletcher Roshi.

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