lunch break @ the hiding place

Largely inspired by reading Shobogenzo, on March 15th, 2013, I took up a particular self-discipline for my lunch breaks at work:

April 2013

That is, sitting meditation, or Zazen (坐 "Za", meaning seat or sitting, and 禅 "Zen" meaning meditation). More specifically, walking up ten flights of stairs to a secluded area near the roof of the building I work in, then doing a Hatha Yoga set, then sitting in Full Lotus (getting there, at least) the way Dogen says to in Fukanzazengi.

At first, this was much more of an athletic endeavor than a meditative one, since my legs aren't used to this. It's been a little over a month now doing this about twice a day for 20 minutes each (once during lunch break, during weekdays, and once in the evening at home), and while it is still a challenge, I find myself more able to let go into the meditative state, rather than simply enduring pain the whole time. Also, while I'm generally adhering to the eyes-open hands-like-so thing specifically learned and taught by Dogen, obviously there are other different and older approaches from a little further west which have different but similar effects, to which I switch when it seems right to do so (i.e. hands on the knees palms upward thumbs-and-index-fingers making a circle (and other mudras) and with eyes closed and looking slightly upward toward the third eye.)

I learned the hard way (pun retroactively intended) that it's a good idea to have a zafu (座 again meaning seat, and 蒲 meaning reedmace, cattail, or typha, which is what they used to stuff them with - also meaning "cushion").

Anyhow, just wanted to share with anyone who might be inspired to some similar practice, and wanted to record it here for anyone who might be interested after I shuffle off my Shakespearean cliché. ;)

Post-Script: If anyone would like to take up a similar practice, I recommend starting here:

On July 12th 2013, I also instituted a Morning Routine, the record of which goes nicely with that of this lunchtime routine.


Thursday November 15th 2013

Post-Post-Post-Script: Just a brief update: On January 2nd, 2014, I stopped using the zafu. I brought it home to use during the Tantric Meditation portion of my Morning Routine. Also, Since I ride my bicycle to and from work every day, I stopped running up the stairs before my lunchtime Yoga. I just go straight up from the 8th to the 10th floor and begin.

Post Script: It has been just over a year since I started that practice. In July, I began practicing Yoga in the mornings, in October I began bicycling to work and back, and in January I began training to become a certified Yoga Instructor - and I graduate on April 14th, 2014. :)