Zazen is deep unoccupiedness; it is not even meditation, because when you meditate you are trying to do something: remembering being God or even remembering yourself. These efforts create ripples.
You can sit anywhere, but whatsoever you are looking at should not be too exciting. For example things should not be moving too much. They become a distraction. You can watch the trees – that is not a problem because they are not moving and the scene remains constant. You can watch the sky or just sit in the corner watching the wall.
The second thing is, don’t look at anything in particular – just emptiness, because the eyes are there and one has to look at something, but you are not looking at anything in particular. Don’t focus or concentrate on anything – just a diffuse image. That relaxes very much.
And the third thing, relax your breathing. Don’t do it, let it happen. Let it be natural and that will relax even more.
The fourth thing is, let your body remain as immobile as possible. First find a good posture – you can sit on a pillow or mattress or whatsoever you feel, but once you settle, remain immobile, because if the body does not move, the mind automatically falls silent. In a moving body, the mind also continues to move, because body-mind are not two things. They are one … it is one energy.
In the beginning it will seem a little difficult but after a few days you will enjoy it tremendously. You will see, by and by, layer upon layer of the mind starting to drop. A moment comes when you are simply there with no mind.
Bodhidharma sat for nine years just facing the wall, doing nothing – just sitting for nine years. The tradition has it that his legs withered away. To me that is symbolic. It simply means that all movements withered away because all motivation withered away. He was not going anywhere. There was no desire to move, no goal to achieve – and he achieved the greatest that is possible. He is one of the rarest souls that have ever walked on earth. And just sitting before a wall he achieved everything; not doing anything, no technique, no method, nothing. This was the only technique.
When there is nothing to see, by and by your interest in seeing disappears. By just facing a plain wall, inside you a parallel emptiness and plainness arises. Parallel to the wall another wall arises – of no-thought.
The posture of the hands being like a cup, like a receptacle, is very meaningful. It makes you receptive, it helps you to be receptive. It is one of the old, ancient postures – all Buddhas have tried it. Whenever you are open, or you want to be open, this posture will help.
Sit silently and wait. Be a receptacle, a receiving end. Just as you wait on the phone: you have rung, you wait on the phone. Exactly in that mood simply wait, and within two, three minutes you will see a totally different energy surrounding you, filling your inside … falling into you like rain falls on the earth and goes on penetrating deeper and deeper, and the earth soaks it.
Postures are very significant. If people don’t make a fetish out of them, they are very significant. They help to set a trend in your body energy. For example with this posture it is very difficult to be angry. With a fist and with teeth clenched, it is very easy to be angry. When the whole body is relaxed it is very difficult to be aggressive, violent, and it is very easy to be prayerful.