Home practice resources

For many if not most of us, much of our sitting practice takes place at home----away from the formal structure and group energy offered by the Centre. This solo sitting offers its own challenges and rewards, and the following pointers are designed to support the process.


Establishing a Home Practice

  • Find a time that works with your schedule.
    • For many people, first thing in the morning works best. The mind is clear and you are energized; you can set your focus and aspiration for the day. Evening sitting can help with with settling for a restful sleep, but you will need to consciously commit to setting aside the business of the day and at least some of your usual evening activities.

  • Practice at the same time every day.
    • Even if you can commit only fifteen minutes, this consistency of practice will be much more helpful in the long run than longer sessions that occur only sporadically.

  • Choose a time that blends with the needs and activities of your family or household.
  • Set up a small space for your meditation, if possible.
    • Try to find a place where you will not overhear conversations or media. Ambient noise (such as traffic noise) is fine.

  • Choose at least one time a week when you can join in on formal sittings at the Centre.
    • Coming to dokusan can be especially helpful.


Maintaining a Home Practice

  • Know that times when the practice feels dry or unproductive will alternate with times of greater inspiration. Commit to sitting through the difficult times.
  • Know that when everything is going great in your life, you may not feel a need to sit. Know that there will always be many things calling for your attention that may feel more urgent than sitting. Commit to sitting when you are happy, when you are sad, and when you are busy (even if only a little bit!)

If you can't get to the Centre

We are a far-flung Sangha so we do try to stay connected by offering plenty of on-line options for those who can't get to the Centre. This has become even more important during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • If you can't get to the Centre, try live-streaming the sittings- it really can make a difference knowing other people are sitting at the same time.
  • Join our WhatsApp Lunchtime Zazen group for an informal reminder to sit at noon, wherever you are. Text Adrian to join (022 047 9382).
  • Join Sensei for Saturday morning zazen via Mixlr. This is live-streamed only, which gives Sensei more opportunity to speak directly to home listeners.
  • Join our Wednesday night Zoom catch-up and sit. Email Hanya for the Wednesday night Zoom link (Hanya@aucklandzen.org.nz)
  • Ask for remote dokusan to get advice and encouragement for practice. Sensei offers dokusan twice a week via Skype for people unable to attend the Centre. Contact Sensei directly to request a time (amala@aucklandzen.org.nz)
  • If you are in need of inspiration, listen to Sensei's Dharma talks or find other resources for your own Dharma study. The literature of ancient and modern teachings is vast, and putting your practice into a larger context will help you to keep going.

Support for home practice at the Auckland Zen Centre:

Please note that our usual sitting schedule will be suspended during sesshin week (Friday 21 August to Thursday 27 August). 
Only WhatsApp sits will continue through sesshin. 
All scheduled sittings will resume from Friday 28 August onwards, but will online only until we exit Level 3. 


DAY

MORNING

LUNCHTIME

EVENING

Monday


12 -12:30 p.m

Informal sitting via the WhatsApp group


Tuesday

6 - 7.15 a.m.

Formal sitting with chanting service, live streamed via Mixlr

12 -12:30 p.m

Informal sitting via the WhatsApp group

7 - 8.40 p.m

Formal sitting with teisho (fortnightly) and chanting service, live streamed via Mixlr

Wednesday

6 - 7 a.m.

Formal sitting, live streamed via Mixlr. 

7.15 - 10.30 a.m.

Remote dokusan via Skype


12 -12:30 p.m

Informal sitting via the WhatsApp group


7 - 8 p.m.

Catch-up and sitting via Zoom


Thursday

6 - 7.15 a.m.

Formal sitting with chanting service, live streamed via Mixlr

12 -12:30 p.m

Informal sitting via the WhatsApp group


7 - 9 p.m

Formal sitting, live streamed via Mixlr

Friday

8.30 - 10.30 a.m.

Remote dokusan via Skype

12 -12:30 p.m

Informal sitting via the WhatsApp group


Saturday

 8.30 - 9.30 a.m.

Informal sitting, live streamed via Mixlr 

12 -12:30 p.m

Informal sitting via the WhatsApp group


Sunday

8:30 - 10:30 a.m. 

Formal sitting,

live streamed via Mixlr

12 -12:30 p.m

Informal sitting via the WhatsApp group