Meditation Techniques

By Abbot Jason Quinn

There are a million different types of meditation techniques and they’re all the same. Once, Zen Master Seung Sahn said, when sitting meditation “you can say Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola….doesn’t matter.”

When we teach meditation to someone new to our school, we teach them to breath-in and say to themselves “clear mind, clear mind, clear mind…don’t know.” The reason why we give this phrase is to reminds us of how to practice and why we practice. “Clear mind” points to how we keep our mind right now in this moment. What do you hear right now? What do you see right now? What do you perceive right now in this very moment? “Don’t know” points to the direction of our practice. Why do we practice? Is it for a good feeling? Do we want to get some kind of experience? Is it to return to our true self? What am I? Don’t know……..

Whatever technique we use, it is important to not fight our thinking. Meditation doesn’t mean just think about whatever we want. It also doesn’t mean cut off all of our thinking. Don’t push it away and don’t hold on to it. When you’re doing any kind of meditation technique, naturally thinking will appear. That’s fine, that’s correct. But when it appears, just perceive it and gently come back to your breath, to what you see, what you hear. Come back to just this very moment.

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