Let's Zazen, by Jake Adelstein

  • Published on : 12/06/2020
  • by : Jake Adelstein - Tempura
Restons Zazen par Jake Adelstein

Let's Stay Zazen by Jake Adelstein and Tempura Magazine

Tempura Magazine

Mindfulness meditation according to Jake Adelstein, or how zazen can help us live our daily lives more serenely.

Who said Zen was only for Buddhist monks? Jake Adelstein, the author of Tokyo Vice who has lived in Tokyo for more than thirty years, shares his practice of mindful meditation, zazen. 

Dogen Zenji, the founder of Soto Buddhism, summed it up this way:

"There is a very simple path to becoming a Buddha. When you renounce evil deeds, no longer attach to birth or death, show compassion towards sentient beings, respect your elders and love the younger ones, that you neither exclude nor desire anything, without calculations or fears, then you will be called Buddha. Do not pursue anything else."

Restons Zazen par Jake Adelstein et Tempura Magazine

Let's Stay Zazen by Jake Adelstein and Tempura Magazine

©TEMPURA

Restons Zazen par Jake Adelstein et Tempura Magazine

Let's Stay Zazen by Jake Adelstein and Tempura Magazine

©TEMPURA

Your mouth is closed, your eyes are open, you stand straight and are aware, but you do not aspire to achieve anything or to become a Buddha. Dogen believed that when you meditate, you are already a Buddha, in a way. Focus on your breathing. When noises reach you, record them. If thoughts come to you, let them pass and then return to your breathing.

If you start daydreaming, which is likely to happen, don't be too hard on yourself. Come back to your breathing. Be in the moment. Beginners are sometimes told to count their breaths. It's not bad to start. Inhale, one. Exhale, two. Repeat. Breathe calmly through your nose. (If you have a cold, it's ok to breathe through your mouth). Don't try to control your breathing. Let it come so naturally that you forget you are breathing.

You are focused on your breathing, and whatever is happening around you becomes part of your meditation. A passing car, the creaking of the shutters when the wind blows. Notice them, let them go, and come back to your breath and embrace every moment. 10 to 20 min is more than enough.

Portrait de Jake Adelstein

Portrait of Jake Adelstein

Tempura Magazine

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