During our Zen classes we practice “sitting” which is called zazen. We focus on posture, breath and attitude because all three are essential for zazen. We learn that proper posture is best attained by sitting on a cushion (Zafu) on the floor. We sit to form a stable tripod formed with the legs which is accomplished by sitting either in the full-lotus, half-lotus, Burmese or Seiza (kneeling) position. We also learn that breath is a very important factor of zazen. We practice breathing from the bottom of the abdomen so that we can feel our diaphragm rise and fall. Finally we become aware that the proper attitude in zazen requires the proper body position, and the proper breath. While sitting we learn to broaden and deepen the level of our perception, and to let go of everything but the present moment. We practice to notice when our mind wanders to the troubles or joys of yesterday, today or tomorrow; and to be careful not to scold ourselves, but gently return to the present moment, and the present breath.
"Most of our Aikido techniques only last a few seconds. But you won’t be able to keep your mind in one place during those few seconds. The Zen training can help contribute to that ongoing centeredness or concentration. " Learn more about Zen and Aikido