what how when

October 3rd, 2011

What? How? When? These are the questions on everyone’s mind, especially those who have come to their first retreat or dharma talk and had their heads turned by the truth.

These are small steps, because all steps are small, and taking small steps is the only way to go places.

1. Buy a zafu – proof that you are committed to the practice of sanity.
2. Put the zafu in plain sight – on the floor in your bedroom, where you see it first thing when you wake up and last thing before you go to bed. Your first public profession of faith occurs in the privacy of your home.
3. Sit on it – From time to time, just a few minutes at a time, the way you’ve been shown.
4. Look for a place to practice – Google “zen” and the name of your town or state and see what turns up. Something will always turn up when and where you least expect it.
5. Visit practice centers and teachers – You don’t know what is out there until you take a step, any step, in any direction. You are your own pilot, navigator and passenger.
6. Start a sitting group – It could be in a spare room, at a school, in a yoga studio, church, community center, anywhere. Just decide that on a certain day of the week or month you will show up with your new zafu. Let other people know. Keep showing up and keep letting people know.
7. See how it goes. – It always goes. You may not know the what or the when, but you already know the only thing that matters: how to take a step.

In the meantime, there’s this:

Beginner’s Mind one-day meditation retreat in LA Sunday, Oct. 9


  1. That’s it. I’m getting my own zafu. I always love it so much when I’m sitting in a zendo or at our local practice room, but at home I prop myself on floor cushions that are never as stable or comfy. Time to prove to myself not only that I’m committed to the practice of sanity, but also that a little comfort is not too much to offer myself.

    Comment by Marianne — October 3, 2011 @ 3:22 pm

  2. Step 1–complete!

    Comment by Kafi — October 3, 2011 @ 6:17 pm

  3. Yes, that first little step is where it all begins. Once it is taken there is no looking back….only slowly forward.

    Comment by Jim Cuvelier — October 4, 2011 @ 4:23 am

  4. I have a little meditation bench as I’m way too decrepit for the zafu. But I say as long as you have an arse you can find somewhere to put it. I love how Karen simplifies it down to the bare essentials.

    Comment by Bobbi — October 4, 2011 @ 6:06 am

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