In this episode we discuss with a long time Zen practitioner the curious human habit of having conversations with people who are not present, in places that we don’t actually inhabit.
While the common image of meditation is one of peaceful stillness where the mind idles along like the purring of a kitten, the reality is that meditation more often than not drops us into the center of a what feels like a madhouse.
Listen in and find out about how meditation is not so much for stillness on the cushion, but for a chance at equanimity off of it.
4:30 The practice is about dropping the whole idea that we know what is going on.
6:45 States experienced in meditation.
7:11 There is this idea that you’re going to sit in meditation and you will stop thinking.
10:01 Insight is not enough to get you through the emotional calamity of life.
15:38 What you feel in the body is what is really happening.
18:05 The experience of being “up-regulated” and how that cause problems for us.
21:00 Certainty only exists as a concept in your brain.
26:02 Body and brain are different sensing/meaning making systems.
32:06 Zen brain
43:43 Why do many of us feel ongoing anxiety?
45:07 How meditation helps.
46:52 Creating a little gap between our thoughts and actions.
Genzan Quennell is a novice priest practicing at the Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico where he is currently serving as Shuso. In addition to helping care for the temple, Genzan also assists with the Upaya Prison Project which brings meditation, yoga and dharma to incarcerated inmates throughout New Mexico.
Upaya Zen Center
1404 Cerro Gordo Road
Santa Fe, NM, 87501
Links and Resources:
Here is a 10 minute introduction to breath mediation with Genzan as it is taught at Upaya Zen Center.