New to Zen Buddhism?

Practicing at Clouds in Water

Clouds in Water welcomes students at all levels to develop and deepen their spiritual practice through a broad range of programs and offerings and through the building of a healthy, balanced and inclusive community. You do not need to be a member to participate.

We offer basic instruction on sitting and walking meditation to help you begin or rejuvenate a meditation practice. We recommend that you attend one of these sessions before attending morning meditation at Clouds in Water. There is no fee and no registration for any of these sessions. Also view this video  for additional useful information. Welcome!

2017 Introduction to Zazen Information
and schedule
(pdf)
What to Bring: you don’t need to bring anything. What to Wear: wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes.

Classes

Click here to go to the Classes and Workshops page. Look for classes that say “Great for Beginners & Experienced.” Many workshops are also well suited to people who are new to Zen Buddhism.

Additional Opportunities

Tuesday & Thursday morning sittings, noon meditation (M-Th), and the Sunday morning service and Dharma talk are good resources for learning about Zen Practice. Visit the calendar page for more information.

Some basic advice about meditation

The aim of meditation is to be intimate with whatever experience arises.

  • Breathe gently through your nose. Follow the breath as it moves in and out from a point two finger widths beneath your navel.
  • Allow the breath to sponsor awareness of the body, feelings, and the mind.
  • When your attention wanders, gently and directly return to the vivid present moment with earnestness.
  • For sitting meditation, sit comfortably with your back naturally straight, either on a cushion or in a chair.
  • For walking meditation, walk with awareness of your breath as you step. As you inhale, raise the heel of your foot. When you reach the height of inhalation, slowly swing the foot forward, taking half a step. As you touch the ball of your foot to the floor, gently exhale. Then gently lower the rest of the foot.

A bell will signal the beginning (3 rings) and end (2 rings) of meditation.