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Old 01-08-2003, 12:50 PM   #15
Dojo: West End Aikikai
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 45
Patrik Eng (Ta Kung) wrote:
I gather from the excelent advice you all have posted, that the main thing is focus on breathing and beeing comfortable. Is this the beginning step, or only one type of meditation? Master Yoda said "meditate over this I will". ()And I've heard of people "meditating over zen koans" aswell. -But then ones mind must wander alot, right? Different types of meditation?

Different - yes. And most very similar.

My own experience is in both Christian centering prayer (meditation) and zazen.

These are technically identical endeavors. The only variation would be that centering prayer is necessarily directed to G-d along the scriptural and living traditions of the Church. Zazen as a form of zen buddhism need not be. In these two styles what we have all been discussing heretofore are initial, techinical stepping stones. As you proceed it gets both more difficult and easier. My friend I mentioned in the preceeding post described a particular 8 hour zazen session in which he was simply drowned in a torrent of old emotions. So overcome he just broke down in tears. This was after decades of daily observance. I am sure there are many stories of similar experiences from other people.

Other forms I know less about. Many of them fall into what I see as a kind of Hallmark Card variety of "feel good" passe temps, like watered down Tai Chi. I think you can practice some attributes of meditation: breathing, being focused, etc. in a more freeform style. But I also believe there is more to be gained from a traditional form in which specific results are worked toward.

In the words of Thomas Merton, "With prayer, look to the Orient - after all, they have been at it longer."

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