Went to the Zen Center meditation group yesterday...

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2001
Went to the Zen Center meditation group yesterday...
Wed, 09-07-2011 - 1:23pm

I had reconnected to my past Zen years and sitting zazen, through the Fire Monks book, as we talked about. I took a look at the web site for the SF Zen Center, which operates Tassajara (in the book) as well as another monastery, training center, in Marin County, above SF. At that monastery they are having a workshop on using meditation, Zen, zazen, in dealing with depression and anxiety issues. Having had for the first time in my life anxiety attacks over upcoming surgeries, and instigating a daily sitting meditation practice along with my T'ai Chi Chih, to avoid taking any drugs for it, I thought it would be wonderful to go to that workshop. Trouble is that's at least a 3 hr. drive from here, and I couldn't afford both the 2 day workshop *and* the fees to stay overnight. Not with the co-pays coming up for my surgeries. :( So, I remembered the Zen Center I learned zazen in many years ago, nearly 15 years or so, was just a 20 min. drive. So I looked up their web site. They have a meditation group meeting weekly of people with chronic pain or health issues or disabilities. So, since I "qualify" ;) I went yesterday. We introduced ourselves, how we can deal with our issues, some of aging and the health problems that come with that, using meditation. We shared our struggles and our journeys. When I told my story of not having any more anxiety attacks since I built up my daily meditation to 40 min. they all just nodded their heads sagely and smiled, having been zazen practitioners for years. They understood. ;) We also had a silent meditation period. We sat in chairs, laid on the floor, sat on meditation cushions, however we needed to be. The energy and atmosphere was much as I remember. I felt welcomed and I felt HOME. I plan on going back each week; maybe getting back to daily zazen in the zendo there as well. Getting some review classes. I feel comfortable combining my faith in the Goddess and God with my "Zen roots." :P I believe the Goddess led me here, by having that book jump out at me at the library, and helping me find a solution to my anxiety attacks, and a way to find strength to face surgeries and more healing time afterward. The knowledge I needed was inside me all the time, the memory is zazen training. When we learn something, some wisdom, some spiritual practice, it's never wasted, eh? ;)

Funny story. :D When I got there yesterday morning, I couldn't find a parking place. Either it was street cleaning day and no parking on some streets, or it appeared lots of residents were home. Plus it was near the commute train station, whose parking lot had been curtailed by idiots building shopping areas, so I'm sure many commuters were parked on nearby streets as well. :| So, as I kept "circling the wagons" looking for a place, my half hour being early was dwindling fast. I finally said to the Goddess, "Well, hey, you got me this far, you can't expect me to turn around and go home now, right?!" And then I found a parking place! A few blocks to walk, but hey, I managed. :P So determination and the Goddess' nudging got me to where I needed to go. Blessed Be! sunshine grin.gif




iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
So glad it all worked out and that Zen has found a small place in your life again. "Nature never hurries, yet all things are accomplished." ~ Lao Tzu

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-20-2007

What a wonderful experience, Gypsy! Thanks so much for sharing this. I used to subscribe to some Buddhist magazines and they were always including articles about people going to meditation groups and centers and this is something that I've always wanted to do. I have a very difficult time meditating. I can never seem to still my monkey mind. She keeps insisting on leaping from tree to tree. I was thinking that maybe if I was with a gorup meditating that there wwouldn't be any distractions for me, that I wouldn't be thinking about turning on the TV or going to the computer.

Like you, I also feel comfortable combining Buddhism with Druidism. All roads lead to the divine and my God/desses are not the type to strike me down because I want to incorporate some Buddhist practices with my Pagan practices.