There are several schools of meditation in which the eyes are closed, the idea being to turn the awareness inward and shield it from sensory distractions. Sometimes this is called pratyahara, withdrawal of the senses. There is even a yogic mudra in which the fingers block the eyes, ears, and nostrils. But in Zen our […]
About Stanley Lombardo
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Entries by Stanley Lombardo
Stories about magical powers are certainly not unheard of in Zen — tales about great bodhisattvas and Zen masters who were able to do such things as make waterfalls flow back upstream or transport a woman to the Tushita heaven. These powers are sometimes classified as “freedom from cause and effect.” They are said to […]
In Zen there are a number of techniques that are commonly recommended. Among them are attention to the breath, counting breaths, slow mantra repetition, fast mantra repetition, and holding a question such as “What am I?” I usually recommend working with a great question, but any of these methods can be effective for a given […]
Well, only you can tell, and only on the basis of your own direct experience. Buddha taught that every spiritual practice should be evaluated on the basis of its results. Nothing is to be taken on faith, nor does Buddhism make any claims to being the one true way. This means that practitioners need to […]
Sitting meditation, the heart of Zen practice, can be pleasant and refreshing at first and in short stints. In the long haul, the many hours of sitting in an intensive retreat and of many retreats over many years, the practice is undeniably austere. It is so by design and necessity. The direction of our practice […]
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