I gave up going to Zen temples a while back because there was not 
much to be gained in terms of socializing or sharing or anything 
else. Most of the times it seems that the visitors are just going 
there to do a brief session of zazen and then get the hell out of 
there. So there wasn't any sitting outside by the cafe talking about 
Dogen over espresso. It was just people showing up, sitting and then 
leaving. Half the people never even made eye contact with anyone 
else, much less say hello. I imagine the experience is much different 
for monks and others who spend more time at the temple. 

I can meditate by myself, but I like the gym environment better for 
focus and a sense of shared purpose. Working out is a lot like 
meditating. I think you can reach the same level of mental silence 
while working out as what you can achieve meditating. The typical gym 
has cuter women than the typical zen temple, and it is a lot cheaper 
for an annual membership (or at least the same price). The best thing 
about a gym is that there aren't any holier-the-thou types. Let me 
correct that. There are some people who are not talking to anyone 
just like at a zen temple. I guess that just makes the similarity 
even closer. 

I think zazen is just a matter of focus and concentration on your 
breathing. Emptying the mind occurs in almost any activity where you 
put all your concentration into it. Even sex is like zazen, except 
much better. 

Current Book Discussion: any Zen book that you recently have read or are 
reading! Talk about it today! 
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