People develop a sitting meditation practice because they need or want something different in their lives. Maybe they want to be calmer, or to lower their blood pressure, or to sleep better or improve their performance at work or their relationship with their family. Maybe there are as many reasons as there are people. They want something to be different, to be better, in their lives. No one comes to do this because everything is perfect in their lives. I want to be clear before I go further that I think this is great. I hope it works. Anything one can do to make themselves genuinely healthier and happier is wonderful as far as I’m concerned.

            But, if you show up at a Zen center like this one you pretty quickly start hearing about no attainment, practicing without gaining mind. For example, Sawaki Roshi said “What is zazen good for? Nothing! We should be made to hear this good-for-nothingness so often that we get calluses on our ears and practice good-for-nothing zazen without any expectation. Otherwise, our practice really is good for nothing.” In my understanding, zazen practice as a Buddhist activity is not what we all initially come here for.