Monday, April 30, 2012

z is for zazen

ZAZEN means “sitting meditation”…which is what I like to think I do on days when I am parked in front of my laptop, writing…lost in thought for hours and hours, sometimes with nothing much to show for it. Which more or less looks and feels like meditation except that, rather than achieving enlightenment, I’m likely to be muddling over a plot point, wrestling with a character, or puzzling over a scene.

In truth, meditation is a practice we turn to for inner peace…to reclaim the wisdom, love, and compassion that may have been sucked out of us by the sheer rush of life. In Zen Buddhism, meditation is a means to awakening…to releasing attachments and to staying alert, aware and open both in heart and mind.

ZAZEN is an indispensable tool when life skids out of control and we need to slam on the brakes if we hope to survive. When we are swept along by our culture, kicking and screaming against the current because we know that there is nothing of value waiting for us downstream.

Meditation is a gift to writers, artists, and composers…people who need to dream in order to do their most creative and imaginative work because inspiration comes so quietly and slowly.

Can you make time for meditation? Can you afford not to?

“We can live without religion and meditation,
but we cannot survive without human affection.”
--Dalai Lama--
So there you have it…from A to Z and back again…back to human affection which is what I feel for each and every one of you—along with respect an d admiration for the effort you put into this challenge. It’s great to be a part of this writing community…to be connected with so many creative, talented souls. I am forever grateful for your words of encouragement and support. It’s great to have met you and I hope we can stay in touch…because now that the Challenge is finished, what are we going to do for fun?
be still--


  1. I've never been able to sit still and find that inner peace to meditate. Someday, maybe.

  2. I'm afraid meditation is a skill I haven't mastered. I can sit and be still but my mind continues to race - where I need to go, what I need to be doing, etc. Can't seem to get it out of gear.

  3. Congratulations on making it the distance, and I really admire the clever way you tied your last post back to your first. Nicely done! As for meditation, I suppose to some extent, I meditate without consciously realizing that's what I was doing. Just sitting on the porch with a cat on my lap, just taking in the night sounds and air, breathing it in and out, just being. Yep, if it quacks like a duck ...

  4. I have made a conscious effort to meditate but I always fall asleep. I guess I'm just a little too relaxed. Congrats on finishing A to Z in one piece.

  5. Susan--I like to think that when we are writing in the "zone" as you put it, it accomplishes much the same thing.

    Susan--"mindfulness meditation" is its own gift.

    Delores--alot of people doze off during meditation and it's just considered part of the relaxation process. Good job!

    LD--breathe in...breathe out. Repeat...

    Congratulations to everyone who saw this challenge through to "ze end".

  6. Wonderful post, and I know I should meditate more. It's so relaxing.

    Cherie Reich - Author

    Surrounded by Books Reviews