When you put a label on something, call it depression or anxiety, for example, you may be covering up the very thing you need to look at. Sokuzan says you don’t have to stop the labeling. Then how do you see what it is covering up? Here Sokuzan answers questions about how to work with body and mind during the practice of meditation.
Everything is an emergency is like the saying “practice like your hair is on fire”. It is to help you see the urgency of bringing your mind into every moment emerging through the practice of meditation. You might find yourself saying that you are too busy today and you’ll practice tomorrow. Don’t take your life for granted.
Sokuzan teaches a class on how to give meditation instruction. He emphasizes that is is important to “meet people where they are at” when teaching others how to meditate.
Observe what comes and goes and the space in which that occurs. Prioritize the space. Sit down, hold still and find out who you are. That is the basic instruction.
Set aside time for retreat practice. It could be a short block of time like four hours or for multiple days. It could be solitary or with a group. Whatever your meditation practice is, it is important to retreat from your everyday busy world and take some time to look at your mind. Receive whatever arises…and don’t evaluate. Whatever you can do, schedule it ahead of time and just do it.