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Harada Roshi

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When I can sit zazen in the day time I am alert and count breath without getting lost very much. But mostly early morning is usually the only time I can sit quietly then I find it difficult to stay alert and refrain from chasing thoughts. Not eating before sitting helps. What else can I do?

"Zazen is not only about sitting meditation, yet is about your mind sitting." As long as we are involved in our daily life in society, we cannot escape time. As long as we live in society and have a job, a family, human relations, economy, politics, we need to use our mind for these matters since we carry responsibilities. In this way we are always involved in outside problems, and our inner essence becomes vacant. Especially people who have a strong sense of responsibility become easily tired in their mind. So these people start to practice zazen to again feel their center and gain inner strength again, and then they might not even find that time to do zazen, being busy and not able to really dive into the practice. And here is what is important in zazen is the state of mind. Sitting as a decoration or in a half baked way does not foster this state of mind. This is where you can practice to carry a state of mind like a mirror. See the world outside as reflected in your mirror, might it be the gossip of someone, some criticism, we do not carry our mind to try and understand that meaning. Even if we do not carry our mind to those words and actions, whether they rely on any reality is another question. In society, among human what is "good" will be perceived by all as "good". what is "bad" is simply "bad". We simply notice these and move accordingly. When work comes to us, we simply work. When a child comes, we simply are with the child. Do not add any extra explanation or judgement. Neither hold onto any unclarity in your mind. What has passed, let it go and forget it. What you do not want to forget, do not pile it up in your mind but write little notes. Keep your mind as clear as possible. Like a flowing river. Flowing water does not rot. The same is true for tzhe mind. A flowing mind does not rot. Always fresh. When the mind stops to flow, it gets heavy. Let us practice true zazen with our mind fully alive.

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