Zazen and silent meditation is sitting in awareness. ‘Za’ means seated; ‘zen’ means inner contemplation, the representation of the Chinese word ch’an and of the Sanskrit dhyana.
It involves an empty lucidity, beyond every conception, objectification of thought, or emotional attachments.
The intention is to set in motion a process of consciousness that leads to the discovery of the innermost self, affording this consciousness a place in the reality of daily life.
Silent focus is aided by good physical posture – relaxed and straight – and being aware of your breathing.
During the meditation sessions (sesshins) a seated posture is alternated with walking meditation (kinhin), brief presentations (teishos) are given and there is the opportunity for contact/discussion with the Zen master (dokusan).
Zen meditation has been practised in the Abbey of Our Lady of Refuge since 1971 and mainly developed under the influence of Father Hugo Enomiya Lassalle and Karlfried Graf von Dürckheim who were guests in Zundert on several occasions to give Zen sessions.
A few years ago, the range of meditation sessions on offer was expanded to include silent meditation, a combination of sitting in Zazen style and introductions according to Christian mysticism and poetry.