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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.
Free Meditation Instruction
Every Sunday morning
8:15 – 8:45 am, free
On Sunday Mornings we offer simple tips about meditation to help you feel more at ease. Designed for those new to Zen practice,
11:30am – noon, free
Second Wednesday of every month a very brief instruction on sitting and walking meditation is offered.
6:30 – 8:30pm, free
Second Wednesday of every month a two-hour introduction is offered
What to Bring: you don’t need to bring anything. What to Wear: wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes. On Sundays: participants are welcome to join the Sunday Community Service following the orientation. For a complete Sunday Morning schedule, see the calendar page.
Advanced registration is not required for the free meditation classes, but you’re welcome to let us know you are coming, or contact us with any questions. Please email Amy Horne or call 651-222-6968, ext. 1.
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.
In addition to classes, the daily morning sittings, open meditation at noon, and the Sunday morning service and Dharma talk are good resources for learning about Zen Practice. Visit the calendar page for more information.
Download a PDF of the most recent Quarterly Newsletter, or visit the Center and look for information on the rack next the front door of the Zen Center.
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.