Just One Thing
If you're reading this the day it was published, I am at the start of three solid days of sitting on my butt, doing nothing. That is to say, at zazenkai meditation retreat at Puget Sound Zen Center on Vashon Island, WA.
For most of my life, I knew nothing about meditation. Nothing accurate, at least. My evangelical Christian-upbringing viewed meditation as a dangerous mystical practice. So imagine my surprise when I encountered zazen, "seated meditation", a practice that, without too much exaggeration, is literally just sitting, doing nothing. The form of meditation I learned and now (Shikantaza, the form of meditation I now practice, roughly means "just sitting".
My first exposure to this approach was reading the opening chapter of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryū Suzuki Roshi. Im not sure what I was expecring to learn from that book, but I was taken aback being plunged immediately into, not esoteric cosmic mysticism, but a simple physical practice.
This lead me to seek out more instruction so, of course, I turned to YouTube. These are the instructions I found the most helpful:
In an odd conincidence, the second teacher, Nishijima Roshi, now appears on my lay ordination lineage chart, as he was the teacher of my jukai teacher, Jundo Cohen.