Learning to meditate

“You can, at any hour of the day, when you wish, withdraw into yourself.
No retreat is more tranquil and less troubled for man than that which he finds in his soul ”
Marc Aurelius Thoughts for myself

We chose to talk to you about meditation by choosing zazen, a different technique of learning in relation to other forms of Zen or Yoga.n the beginning, you can not cross your legs well, you hurt, you feel twisted, breathing is difficult, jerky, chopped. The mind goes in all directions, wanders or falls asleep. Our help will give you genuine advice to inspire you, to deeply penetrate this inner space and, finally, touch your own heart.

As the meditations go on, the perturbations will calm down. You will feel calm, calm, confident in yourself

What is zazen?

This is the sitting meditation in the traditional lotus posture, practiced by humans since prehistoric times. Zazen is neither a theory, nor an idea, nor a knowledge to be grasped by the brain. It is only a practice that is radically changing our own mind.It is blending with the whole universe. In 1967, Master Taisen Deshimaru, disciple and successor of the great master Kodo Sawaki, brings the practice of this zazen in Europe. The zazen posture goes back to ancient times as many archaeological remains attest Historical Buddhism was born from the zazen of Buddha there in 2500 years and has been transmitted from master to disciple since then worldwide , without interruption.

The posture

Seated in the center of the zafu (round cushion), the legs are crossed in lotus or half lotus. If one encounters an impossibility and one crosses only legs in cross, it is nevertheless necessary to push strongly the ground with the knees. The pelvis should be tilted forward at the level of the fifth lumbar vertebra. The well-built spine, chin tucked and thereby stretched neck, nose directly above the navel, one pushes the earth with the knees and the sky with the top of the skull.

Place your left hand on your right hand, palms facing the sky, your thumbs touching, forming a straight line. The hands rest on the feet, cutting them in contact with the abdomen. The shoulders are relaxed. The tip of the tongue touches the palate.The gaze is placed about a meter away on the ground without looking at anything in particular.


Zen breathing is comparable to no other. It can only come from a correct posture and aims above all to establish a slow, powerful and natural rhythm based on a gentle exhalation, long and deep. The air is slowly and silently discharged through the nose, while the exhalation thrust descends powerfully into the abdomen. At the end of the expiration, inspiration takes place naturally.

The attitude of the mind

Sitting in zazen, images are allowed, thoughts, mental formations rising from the unconscious pass like clouds in the sky  without opposing it, without catching it. Like reflections in a mirror, the emanations of the subconscious pass, pass and vanish.

This attitude of mind naturally from a deep concentration on posture and breathing, allowing control of mental activity resulting from improving the cerebral circulation. Indeed, during zazen, the cortex (seat of conscious thought) rests, while the blood flows to the deep layers of the brain, which, better irrigated, awaken from a half-sleep. Their activity gives an impression of well-being, serenity, calm, triggering, in full awakening, the cerebral waves of deep sleep “alpha” and “theta”.

Zazen: health benefits

The Zazen thus has beneficial effects on our health with:

  • Better stress management,

  • the imp lioration the quality of sleep e: then we can do without sleeping pills è res and see an e ease of falling asleep and better quality sleep ed,

  • a peace of mind: more structured thought e e e, less thought é es parasites or n e gatives,

  • better management of e Motions

The state of relaxation allows:

  • The disappearance of any physical tension (nervous tension, muscular tension, aches, etc.), probably through the s e cre tion of endorphins.

  • the disappearance of any voltage at the mental level (worries, p re occupations, stress, fears currentes r e, e pens are disruptive, etc.)

The one who practices relaxation reaches a state of letting go.

To achieve a state of relaxation, the zazen always combines the following ingredients:

  • Exercise smoothly,

  • é e respiration adapted to exercise,

  • concentration / m é ditation on what is done (to the exclusion of all pens E E E Trang ry / parasite).

For further

A small manual for aspirants who want to learn Zen meditation 
Extract Buddhas are born in fire , Paris, Editions du Seuil, 2007, pp. 201-206.
Thomas Cleary,
 Thoughts of the great Zen masters , Paris, Editions Vega, 2005
Bernard Faure
 The immediate vision: Nature, awakening and tradition of Shobogenzo, Aix-en-Provence, Editions Mail 1987

Yoko Orimo, The Master Dogen Shobogenzo, Valves, Sully Editions 2003