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Ajahn Chah (1918-1992) was perhaps the greatest Theravada meditation master of the 20th century. The woman who offered him the sandals, seeing how wet he was, invited him in to remain for the night in her home. Modern Zen teachings in Japan spring from the lineage of a famous master who was the successor of Gudo. Join us any Sunday nightThe Sarasota Zen Meditation Group meets every Sunday night at 7 pm to explore the ancient practice of Zen Buddhism and do zazen (meditation). Body Scan: Starting with your head and working down to your arms and feet, notice how you feel in your body. Mantra Repetition: The relaxation response can be evoked by sitting quietly with eyes closed for 15 minutes twice a day, and mentally repeating a simple word or sound such as ”Om”. Guided Imagery: Imagine a wonderfully relaxing light or a soothing waterfall washing away tension from your body and mind. Born in Thailand in 1918 he became a monk as a young man but soon grew tired of sedate life in the conventional monasteries.

We meet on the campus of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota, 3975 Fruitville Road, Sarasota (map here). Harvard researchers found that yoga, meditation and even repetitive prayer and mantras all induced the relaxation effect. Tune into your breath, follow the sensation of inhaling from your nose to abdomen and out again. Make your image vivid, imagining texture, colour and any fragrance as the image washes over you.
Once when he was on his way to Edo, the cultural and political center of the shogunate, he approached a little village named Takenaka.
We read from texts written by masters and discuss all things Buddhist or Zen, then we finish with a meditation and chant. See how much you can spread any sensations of softness and relaxation to areas of your body that feel tense. After many years he settled in a forest hermitage which eventually developed into a monastery and began to attract those interested in meditation.

Ajahn Chah became well-known for his warmth, his earthy humour and his particularly practical, direct and spontaneous approach to meditation. By the 1970’s he began to attract many Western disciples, some of whom later went on to establish monasteries and meditation centres in the West.
Although he himself never wrote anything, some of his talks, sayings and anecdotes were recorded and published and have since circulated widely. At a farmhouse near the village he noticed four or five pairs of sandals in the window and decided to buy some dry ones.

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