Is there anything out there in the zen tradition about whether "silence" (do I mean this metaphorically) is to be embraced in meditation?

  • 1
    Well, there's the Flower Sermon isn't there?
    – ChrisW
    Mar 11 '15 at 3:58
  • looking for more contemporary stuff, but thanks anyway :)
    – user2512
    Mar 11 '15 at 3:59

If you are coming at this from a Zen perspective, I wouldn't use the word "silence" so much as "emptiness" or mu-shin. And I wouldn't say that the word "embraced" quite gets at what you need to be doing. Emptiness is embraced, but there is also an element of investigation. One should become both "one with" mu-shin while looking deeply into it.

I think it's important to understand, however, that this sort of investigation is not a preliminary practice. The mind has to be quieted and the concentration developed to a certain extent before one has an experience of that emptiness. Once it is beheld, it should then be stabilized. This can be done through various techniques - most famously the mu koan. If you are beginning your meditation practice, you are better off just watching the breath. This will help lay a foundation for later investigation.

  • hm ok i'm just starting out with zazen so...
    – user2512
    Mar 11 '15 at 15:16
  • 1
    Then count those breaths! :-)
    – user698
    Mar 11 '15 at 15:17
  • yep yep ... :) !
    – user2512
    Mar 11 '15 at 15:19

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