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  • The Five Reasons We Practice Meditation. Plus One.

    1). Mindfulness
    The first level of the Path is using mindfulness meditation in seeking to become a healthier and happier person, physically, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually and mentally. We enter a practice of mindfulness and concentration where we learn to focus our unwieldy and scattered mind and settle it down by paying attention to breath, thoughts and sensations. We become more aware of our mind’s tendency to be like a wild horse or a monkey jumping from tree to tree, and learn to tame it and bring it to some peace by focusing and concentrating on one thing at a time. We see that we are not our thoughts, feelings or sensations and free ourself from these notions of self. This stage of development is called mindfulness practice.

    2). Samadhi
    The second level of the Path is about cultivating samadhi power, which develops in the lower belly about two to three inches below the navel. We also call this joriki which means the power and energy of samadhi. At this stage our practice shifts to a one-pointed focus of concentration to penetrate deeply into the self. Here it is less about being mindful than about penetrating the object of our concentration and becoming one with it. We gain more separation from and less attachment to the self, while still believing that self and others exist. In this process we develop a certain intuition and understanding of the nature of reality. We become one with deeper states of samadhi and realize some powers that we had been totally unaware of. We gain a certain centeredness and equanimity beyond what we had developed with our mindfulness practice. Samadhi and its power become the objective of our meditation. Here we can actually stay focused on a task without getting scattered or lost. At this stage as in the previous one, there is not a strong sense of seeking awakening. It is still about obtaining something that makes us feel more powerful and better about ourself, and still lacks the Bodhi Mind, the mind that seeks or aspires to the Way.
    . . . read more (in English and Spanish).

  • Self-Power, Other-Power and Beyond

    I am often asked about how I am practicing these days and whether it is different from the past. Actually my practice has changed dramatically in the last few years. For a while I sat much less than I had before and even gave up zazen on a daily basis, only to find that it hadn’t given up on me. In these past couple of years sitting and devotion have come back into my life, and they are giving me greater joy and fulfillment than ever.

    Until recently I sat cross-legged in a lotus posture with very straight back unsupported. These days my posture is very different, and I am loving sitting more than I ever have before. I sit very relaxed and natural, usually in a chair or sofa, my legs not crossed, feet on the floor, resting my back against the back of the chair or couch, upright but not stiff or rigid in any way. Everything is relaxed and comfortable.
    . . . read more

  • Free Recording Available

    In October of 2014, Genpo Roshi engaged in a wide-ranging conversation with a large audience at a public evening event in Salt Lake City, Utah. The discussion was recorded live and is available free on request. Click here to request a link to the recording.