About Soto Zen Meditation
Soto Zen Shikantaza meditation is 'active
non-doing'; there is no something that needs to be done.
It is a practice that belongs to all humanity.
Industrial Revolution, when people's lives were in greater
harmony with the rhythms of the planet, meditation was a
natural part of the daily, monthly, and yearly cycles. Today,
however, because most people's lives are increasingly filled
with activity it has become necessary for many to actively
incorporate periods of meditation into daily life. Meditation
is not unique to one religion, time period, or culture,
but is found in various forms in all faiths, times, and
societies, past and present.
Zen Meditation as it is practiced in the Soto
School is distinctive in terms of its emphasis on our natural
physical posture. Our state of mind is regulated by the posture
of the body. Zen Master Dogen (1200-1254 c.e.), the founder
of the Soto School in Japan writes in Universally Recommended
Instructions for Zen Meditation:
“Straighten your body
and sit upright, leaning neither left nor right, neither forward
nor backward. Align your ears with your shoulders and your nose
with your navel.”
Relaxation, peace of mind, joy, letting go of
past mistakes, and living fully in the present moment are all
fruits of meditation. The function of a Zen teacher is to skillfully
guide students through this unfolding of the mind so that they
return to their ordinary lives with a clearer perspective on
how to love others, to be kinder and to be more open-hearted.
my mind of chatter and takes me to the place of pure joy that
is underneath the noise.” -- Lucine Folgueras
"What a gem we have here at Mount Equity! Practicing here has helped me live in freedom and peace." -- Christina Linhoff
The Soto School of Zen teaches that practice and enlightenment
are not separate. There is not something that needs to be done
in the practice of meditation so that realization comes about.
“Through the practice of Zen Meditation
I have become more understanding and compassionate toward all
-- Marcy Brenner
At Mt. Equity Zendo we provide an atmosphere conducive
to meditation, which helps deepen awareness of how we live our
daily lives and how we are with others.
“Over the years,
the most profound benefit from zen practice is that it has helped
me to 'back off' from my emotional reactions within my family...
anger, righteousness, impatience, fear... as a result, relationships
improve.” -- Mary Boutselis