Friday, January 22, 2010

lets go zendo

my mala (counting beads I use for prostrations/bowing)

I'm on my way to a 3-day retreat at the zen center. I will be there today from 9am-930pm. I will come home to sleep and take care of the pets.

Saturday should be interesting. The practice schedule is technically 6am-930pm, but I have to turn it into a split-shift to accommodate the spinning class and a dance rehearsal (both meditative in their own ways I suppose--especially if I intend them to be so). So on Saturday, I will practice from 6am-10a, break for the spinning and dancing, then practice again from 6p-930, then home once more for pets and sleep. Sunday I'm back at the zen center for the full program, but it's a shorter day.

This retreat will be my longest practice period, even with the break on Saturday. The only other retreat I have been to was a 1-day practice a month or so ago. The retreats are basically set up as half-hour sessions of sitting (zen meditation) broken up by walking meditation and some occasional chanting, some eating.

The general gist with sitting (in zen meditation) is that it is just a given that thoughts are going pass through your mind, but you sort of treat them like clouds. When you notice you are thinking, you let the thought go, and bring your attention back to something, often the breath. Or a question. Or a mantra. Whatever. Point is, it has the potential to be fairly boring (which is odd for something that is actually not as easy as it sounds...go ahead, try. LOL)

Anyhow, back to that 1-day retreat last month. As we prepared that day for our fourth session of sitting meditation that day, I sat down, got myself settled in and comfortable, and then my brain said (audibly, loudly, inside my head):

So! Now whaddya wanna do!

This weekend will be triple the fun. I'm sure my head has all sorts of interesting things to blab at me.


Mouse said...

Beautiful mala photo!

~Donna~ said...

Ditto Mouse!

...first thing my mind said was...hey! Wonder if I can make one.

That is ALWAYS what pops into my head.