Today we went to a Buddhist temple in Uda, where we tried Zazen meditation.
“Zazen” means “seated Meditation” and is a way of Zen meditation, where the heart is in focus. The purpose of the practice is to calm your soul and make your spirit strong, so it can stand any obstacle.
When we came to the temple, the priest explained that we would meditate two times of each 20 minutes. We would cross our legs, sit like someone was pulling our spine towards the sky, look at the same spot one meter ahead, and count to ten with each breath, over and over again.
Everyone’s first thought was: How could anyone sit still for that long? I couldn’t even sit like the priest did. Normally I get bored pretty quickly, so I can’t really sit still for a really long time. But what people didn’t know about Zazen, is that you actually get hit on your back with a stick by a priest. It sound kind of weird, but it help you endure the time of the meditation.
Everyone seemed a little scared of being hit, but in the end we all tried to get hit.
The 20 first minutes felt like 5 minutes and the biggest obstacle wasn’t the hit itself, but more keeping your concentration. Rain suddenly started pouring down, and not long after, the priest started hitting everyone three times on each shoulder. The sound was very loud, but the hit wasn’t that hard. The second time the priest hit even harder, because people requested for it; even that didn’t feel that bad, and it actually helped you keep your focus.
Afterwards we all gathered in another room, and we got cinnamon cakes, tea and a really cool present. It looked like a walled, that you could keep small notes in, and we all got three different colors to choose between; red, purple or gray.
Even though I tried Zazen two years ago as a participant, it was still an amazing experience that I will never forget. Thank you World Campus International, for giving me another amazing experience with Zazen.
Nina Møller (Denmark)