Thursday, 22 June 2017


123. Anyone who tries zazen soon comes to experience the problem of intrusive thoughts. And so we quickly learn the importance of developing our powers of concentration, that is, our samadhi power. There is nothing strange or esoteric about this concentration. It is something we all employ in carrying out our daily tasks. It is part and parcel of Nansen's 'Ordinary Mind'. There is nothing extraordinary here. Learning to develop our powers of concentration represents a first movement towards touching or unifying or realizing the heart-mind of our practice. We move towards re-collecting the heart-mind by directing our attention to what we are doing right now. Zazen, as a ritualised practice, is designed to help us concentrate the heart-mind.Bowing as we enter the meditation hall, bowing to our cushion and then to the sangha, adopting the formal meditation posture -  all these actions require concentration on what we are doing. Already we are practising, and so developing, concentration. 

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