What Is Meditation? What is Zen?

Myōgen Steve Stücky, the late central abbot of San Francisco Zen Center, answers, “What is meditation?” for us in this video. He also talks about, “What is Tassajara?” and “What is Zen?”It was filmed last summer at Tassajara. In the video Steve explains:

Zazen is to settle into ‘now’ – right here, right now. And, recognize that more and more you may include more and more in your field of awareness. And, not be so disturbed or confused, because everything can be regarded with some equanimity, with some calmness, when you are really settled into the here and now.

 Abbot Steve’s gentle and good humored way perhaps defines Zen just as much as his explanation of it, reminding us once again that, “Buddhism is transmitted from warm hand to warm hand.”

Here is part 2. It is wonderful to see him smiling! 🙂

After all the previous articles about Myogen Steve Stucky, I find it refreshing to hear him speak about Zazen, Tassajara, and meditation. I am filled with fond memories of sitting Zazen in his living room in Mill Valley. His kind and gentle voice in these videos is reminiscent of the many Monday nights I spent “just sitting” in his home.

Just to clarify, the Tassajara Zen Center is located in the mountains in central California near Big Sur. It was established in an old spa by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi as a retreat center for deeper practice. Unfortunately, I have not been there so I cannot give a first-hand report. My friends tell me it is a wonderful place to take some time for yourself.

Did Steve answer the questions, “What is meditation?” well enough for you? How else can I help you understand what it means to “just sit?” Please ask and share.

Connect with Meditation Practices

Connect with

Or enter your name and email address below.