Sitting. Breathing. Walking. Being.

Zen is the school of Buddhism which emphasizes the practice of sitting meditation, or zazen. Zen teaches that zazen directly manifests our inborn enlightenment, so in a way, meditation and enlightenment are one.

Seated meditation can be done on a cushion (called a zafu), on a small wooden bench, or in a chair. Posture and breathing are very important, and we have several people within the zendo who can help newcomers feel more at ease in their practice.

Zazen sessions usually begin and end with a bell. Face the wall in the correct posture, and focus on the in and out of the breath. As time passes, thoughts will arise, but don't struggle against them. Let them come and go. Sometimes counting the in and out breaths helps.

Periods of zazen are often separated with periods of walking meditation, called kinhin. During kinhin, small half-steps are taken very slowly around the meditation area, while proper posture and breathing continue.

Typical Zazen Schedule

6-6:55 pm, zazen and kinhin
6:55-7:15, service

6-6:40 pm, zazen
6:40-6:45, kinhin
6:45-7:00, service

9:00-9:40 am, zazen
9:40-9:45, kinhin
9:45-10:00, service

The zendo meets in the basement of Christ Episcopal Church (rear of building and down stairs), at the corner of Franklin Road and Washington Avenue, SW, in Roanoke.