Zen of the Quit


Sitting Basics


Sit on the floor with your legs crossed, facing a blank wall about an arm’s length away. Use a pillow or a small cushion to support your butt. If you can sit in the lotus position, or the half lotus position, so much the better.

Sit up straight; shoulders back, head held high, eyes half open and looking towards the base of the wall. Imagine your back, the floor, and your line of sight forming a perfect a triangle.

Put one hand on top of the other (palms facing up) so that the first set of knuckles (above the ones where your fingers start) line up, and touch the tips of your thumbs lightly together, as if you were holding a piece of paper between them. Your hands should now appear as if you’re holding an invisible egg. This is known as the Cosmic Mudra or the Dhyana Mudra.

Hold your hands at the level of your navel. Keep your arms relaxed and your elbows away from your sides. Sit still. Breathe normally. Suzuki Roshi once said that sitting in this posture is itself enlightenment.

Thoughts will arise. When they do, notice them, catalog them (e.g., “thinking about [whatever the thought was about]”), and bring your attention back to whatever is happening right here and right now.

Whenever a thought arises about anything that isn’t happening right here and right now, notice it, catalog it, and bring your attention back to whatever is happening right here and right now.

Sit like this for 20 minutes, twice a day; once, when you first wake up, and once again, right before you go to bed. Sit as still as possible for the entire time, and bring your attention back to the present moment as often as needed.

More on this as we go on.

(If you're feeling a bit lost, it may be helpful to go back to the first post and follow along in order.)

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