Some sitting periods are just longer than others

Art by Anna Zumwalt

In my previous post Monk Cheats for Sitting during Meditation I passed along a few points on sitting comfortably. However sitting comfortably is only half the battle. Taming the mind is why we all start meditating in the first place.

Not all sittings are created equal … which is kind of the point of practice and meditation, I guess, but I digress. Getting through sitting blocks when your mind will just not settle is a challenge most of us face, particularly when beginning. Even after many years of practice there are times that you’re just not into a particular sitting…

Zendo Rhymes | Dharma Packaged for Our Times

H. Sabel 2020

Zendo Rhymes | Dharma Packaged for Our Times

Zendo Rhymes | Dharma Packaged for Our Times

Your life and karma are the same
There is nothing or no one else to blame

Karma is Cause and Effect
A relationship you must respect

Every Effect has a Cause
A situation that should give you pause

Something you consider bad
May set you up for being glad

Something glorious you’ve achieved
May just turn and you’re bereaved

Karma is a complex affair
To dance with it takes great care

We have karma since of old
To work with that you must be bold

We have karma of this life
We’re quick to label that we see as strife

Zendo Rhymes | Dharma Packaged for Our Times

Lake Tahoe

Zendo Rhymes | Dharma packaged for our Times

Zendo Rhymes | Dharma packaged for our Times

(a)dalailama — Instagram

Life is Dukkha the Buddhists say
Understanding this is the Middle Way

Life is Suffering the Beatniks translated
Reclaiming the gap the Bible created

Dukkha is better said as being Stuck
This is the cause of Life running Amok

Like the Wheel of a Cart which does not roll
It Drags you Aside and you Fight for Control

Our Wheels are that which pesters our Mind
We Want what we Lack or Rid of some Bind

The Roots of the problem are Fear and Desire
They Haunt our Mind or even set it on Fire

The Fear is of Losing…

Kodo Sawaki Unknown author — Antai-ji (Hyogo, Japan) archives

Sitting comfortably during long meditation blocks is a challenge most of us face, particularly when beginning. I am not naturally a great sitter and would still need to break things to do full lotus. Fortunately, I can be stubborn and manage a so-so half-lotus. Adding the following over the course of almost two decades now made things easier.

Monks have advantages in sitting that may not be obvious without close inspection or participating. With a little creativeness, you can use these same tricks and sit more stably and comfortably.

To assuage your inner critic (and any outer ones in your…


One thing we can agree on is that we have all lost something during the current battle with Covid 19.

For most of us, we have lost our social norms. We have lost jobs, wedding dates, dreams of college and other life adventures. Mobility is a big loss in my world and much of the younger generation; whether it is traveling as a life style or for work or just to coffee shops and co-working.

Of course some of us have even lost lives near and dear to us.

Along with Loss comes Grief

Along with loss comes greif and…

Zen River Temple

The world has forced many into Social Distancing or even Isolation. In Zen practice we do this regularly by choice. I have learned the benefits of following a schedule from years of Zen, but it applies similarly to monastic practice from many traditions.

I do not run my daily life this structured, however there is a time and place for it and that time is now. You may have an initial reaction to some of this, but they are time tested ideas from the monastic community to get you through.

If you are having trouble with the shutdown, give this…

Monk Enō

Zen Monk | Wandering through the Human Condition | Pubs: The Zentrarian and Everyday Karma

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