Welcome to the group!
>I was wondering what kinds of meditations are good to use.
>How often should one meditate for,ect? I want to get into
>zen and not too sure how to.I'm 35 yrs old.
I'll respond to your post in reverse from bottom to top:
Your age does not make any real difference when starting zen practice.
There are pros and cons for both starting young when you have a lot of
energy and are eager to learn, and starting when you are more mature and
have a lot of life experience from which to draw. The best time to start
practicing is NOW!
In my opinion the best way to be introduced to zen is from an introductory
seminar and face-to-face meeting with a zen teacher. That's how I got
started and it worked for me. If you feel comfortable telling the forum the
general area you live in, like the state or city, someone might be able to
direct you to an established zen group (called 'sangha' if Japanese Zen).
If you don't wish to do that you could look up a group near you via the
internet (Google) or even just consult your phonebook's yellow pages under
Church Buddhist and you might find something. Failing either of those there
are e-groups available through the web, but I haven't had any direct
experience with them. Books are of course another source of introduction,
but they are no substitute for the real thing. They're best for generating
enthusiasm. If you already have that, and it sounds like you do, you should
move quickly to actual practice.
Japanese Zen meditation is called 'zazen', and I think that's the accepted
term throughout zen. It's very easy to learn, and you can find plenty of
instruction on how to begin on the web. Also, you could check back through
the Zen Forum archives and there are some postings with instructions on how
to sit basic zazen.
As far as how often/what duration, my advice is to sit every day. That's
very important. The duration of your sitting can vary. I'd advise starting
out with 10 minutes. When you feel comfortable with that you can increase
it by 5 minutes until you're at 30 minutes. That's plenty for one session.
If you want to sit more you can take a break, walk around and stretch your
legs, and then sit another session. As I said, it's very important to sit
every day. If you have a busy day or are in a hurry you should at least
make time to sit for 5 or 10 minutes. This is very important.
Okay, that's my 2-cent's worth. I'm sure you'll get other responses. Good
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