About Zazen
(Sitting Meditation)

Buddhism is based on a sitting practice known as Zazen. The word "Zazen" is a Japanese word that is made up of two smaller words "Za" (坐) and "Zen" (禅).

The word "Za" means "sitting down" or "sitting".

The word "Zen" is derived from the Chinese word "ch'an" which in turn comes from the Sanskrit word "dhyana". Each of  these words means "meditation". Buddhism originated in India, and then spread to China and later on reached Japan, and the Buddhist meditation practice was passed on like that too.

So "Zazen" literally means "sitting meditation".
(and "Zen Buddhism" literally means "Meditation Buddhism"). 

This page has a video demonstration and a pdf file with instruction on how to practice zazen. The priest in the video is a Japanese man named Master Gudo Nishijima (1919-2014). I studied Buddhism with him in Tokyo for 15 years from 1996 to 2011.

Video - How To Practice Zazen (runs for 10 minutes) - Instructions by Master Gudo Nishijima

PDF File with instructions  →   Download How To Practice Zazen PDF file (427 kb)

This is a pdf file with illustrated instructions on how to practice Zazen. I made this as the appendix to a book called “To Meet the Real Dragon” by Gudo Nishijima and Jeffrey Bailey.