A few years ago, in Naples, Florida, I had the opportunity to do something that I had always wanted to do. I found a local zendo, (Japanese meditation hall) and began the practice of zazen, a practice of letting go through sitting and walking.
It may sound simple enough, but the practice is powerful in that when we enter into a state of zazen, we let go of all thoughts and mental clutter. In today’s society, we can become stuck in our heads thinking about today, tomorrow, or the past. Zazen allows our minds to be still. We enter into a peaceful place of just being.
I was in Naples for only a short time, but I fell in love with my new zendo and found the practice brought me immense peace. Because I love movement so much, I especially enjoyed, kinhin, a type of movement or walking meditation. I found the mix of sitting and moving especially beneficial to me, allowing me to be still, yet to also move.
After practicing for a short period of time, I relocated. I still miss the zendo and my zazen practice, although I can continue on my own, I find it difficult in my home, compared to when I entered the empty space of the zendo.
The photo included on this post was taken on my last day of practice. It was with regrets and sadness that I knew I would not return, but was grateful that I had the opportunity to practice zazen. I hope to find another zendo in the future and resume my practice. Until then my yard has become my outdoor zendo.