Zazen / Meditation

Literally, zazen means "seated meditation." It is the historic practice taught and practiced by Zen Buddhists since the very beginning of Zen in Tang Dynasty China around the 7th century, C.E.

Meditation is practiced in many forms in various religions and predates Zen Buddhism by thousands of years, but zazen specifically encompasses two types of meditation. One form is a deeply focused type of meditation, usually directed toward a Zen koan, a focus commonly called "samadhi." This samadhi produces a calm that pervades the whole body and mind and allows one's natural insight to reveal itself.

The central practice of Soto Zen is "shikantaza" which means "just sitting." It is a form of meditation that is characterized by an alertly wakeful attention, yet it is not directed at any specific object.

Along with koan practice and shikantaza, beginning students of TTZC are also trained in mindfulness practices.

Meditation instruction is given at TTZC at the beginning of regularly scheduled zazen. Please call ahead and arrive early to meet with an instructor.

For a detailed video instruction on the practice of zazen, please visit the website of our sister temple Yokoji Zen Mountain Center at

Zazen at Rancho Penasquitos