Welcome to Pine Tree Dojo Meditation Hall



Welcome to Pine Tree Dojo Meditation Hall.







Please join us for a few minutes of meditation.

Please select session length:
03  |  05  |  10  |  15   Minutes or   Self Timed

Go to One Way to Meditate instructions for sitting and standing meditation  below.

A note on why we meditate
Instructions for Sitting Meditation and Zhan Zhuang (Standing)



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Why We Meditate

“Why must I meditate in order to achieve enlightenment?” demanded the prince of the teacher. “I can study, I can pray. I can think on issues clearly. Why this silly emptying of mind?”

“I will show you,” said the teacher, taking a bucket of water into the garden under the full moon. “Now I stir the surface and what do you see?”

“Ribbons of light,” answered the prince. “Now wait,” said the teacher setting the bucket down.

Both teacher and boy watched the calming surface of the water in the bamboo bucket for many minutes. “Now what do you see?” asked the teacher. “The moon,” replied the prince.

“So, too, young master, the only way to grasp enlightenment is through a calm and settled mind.”



One Way to Meditate: Sitting Meditation

  • Practice meditation in the morning or evening, or at any time.
  • Sit as comfortably as possible. Hold your body upright, straight, and balanced, leaning neither to the left nor the right, neither forwards nor backwards. Your ears should be in a line with your shoulders, and your nose in a straight line with your navel. Keep your tongue at the roof of the mouth and close your lips. Keep your eyes open but relaxed. Breathe quietly through your nose.
  • As you begin, take several slow, deep breaths. Relax your body into the meditation posture as you allow your breathing return to normal.
  • When thoughts come into your mind ignore them, let them go. If they persist, be aware of them, but do not think about them. As Dogen says, "Think non-thinking."
  • When you end your meditation, move slowly and gently.

"There are thousands upon thousands of students who have practiced meditation and obtained its fruits. Do not doubt its possibilities because of the simplicity of the method. If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?"

— Dogen (1200-1253)


"On the Way," The Daily Zen's Monthly Journal for January 2004 has an excellent excerpt from Dogen's writings titled
"Practice of Meditation."



One Way to Meditate: Zhan Zhuang Meditation

Standing practice. It may look as if the practitioner is "just standing there," but this internal martial arts exercise is training the practitioner's mind (yi) to develop and control both his qi and his physical body. It is a kind of directed meditation.

There are many, many ways to "just stand there;" positions vary depending on what the practitioner is trying to achieve. For best results, find a competent teacher.

The amount of time spent standing is less important than the quality of one’s practice. Beginners may only be able to stand for a few minutes. Advanced students may stand for an hour.

Below are descriptions of some of the simplest practices the beginner may wish to try.

Wu Ji

This is the taiji "resting position" that precedes all movement. It is called state of great emptiness. "Wu Ji gives birth to Taiji," the saying goes.
  • Stand upright with your feet comfortably separated (shoulder-width or less), toes pointed almost straight forward, your weight balanced evenly so that you feel stable. Allow your arms to hang at your sides.
  • Bend your knees slightly and tilt your tailbone upward to straighten your spine. Lift your head and imagine there is a string connected to your bai hui suspending you from the sky. Be sure your chin is tucked in so that your spine is straight and aligned from head to tail.
  • Look straight ahead, eyes with a soft, wide-angle focus.
  • Relax. Breathe naturally. Keep the tip of your tongue touching the roof of your mouth behind your front teeth.
  • Clear your mind. Relax. Grow your roots. Feel the qi flowing through your body. Breathe. Relax....
  • If you feel a pain or burning sensation in a joint or muscle, that is said to be a blockage of qi flow. Try to free the blockage by relaxing or shifting position slightly. If you can't clear the blockage completely, and standing becomes uncomfortable, it's time to stop.
  • When you are done, walk around slowly for a couple of minutes, gently patting or stroking your body.

If you can find a competent teacher, you may learn to use your mind to direct the flow of your qi in this posture. But please do not attempt to control your qi flow without expert instruction.

Standing Post
This posture has many variations, but it is most commonly seen in practice as "tree hugging," a variation of Wu Ji stance in which all the Wu Ji principles apply, but the arms are held as if one is hugging a tree trunk, fingertips not quite touching.
Static Forms Practice
Here one assumes the position of one of the taiji forms and holds it for a length of time, concentrating on perfecting the rooting, balance, and relaxation of the body in the form.


Why We Meditate
Instructions for Sitting Meditation
Instructions for Zhan Zhuang (Standing)
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Recommended meditation books from the One Way Book Store.

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