I went to my first zazen (Zen meditation) session tonight, taught by a British woman who was taught in Japan by an Eastern Zen master and in Western Australia by a Western Zen master.
This teacher is the only Zen teacher in my city. There may be other groups (I haven't found any others yet), but this woman is the only approved teacher within two hours drive of my house. I am glad I found her.
The evening was held in a normal suburban house, in a large room with wooden floor boards and not much else other than some wall hangings and the usual zafu - zabuton combination.
Having not had instruction on sitting before, and also not having practiced a long (or regular) sitting in my own home, I was a little nervous (worried?) that I would have pain during the evening. It was, after all, a 2 hour zazen practice.
But it turned out to actually be 4 25 minute rounds, each followed by a 5 minute kinhin (walking zazen).
My feet went to sleep in the last 5 minutes of every round, but soon came back awake when I stood for kinhin. I am thankful that atleast I didn't fall over my own numb feet.
I really, honestly enjoyed it, even including the starting of a dull ache in my back (damn you weak back muscles!). The zazen experience is certainly different when sitting with others and the little added formality helped to set the mind in the right mood for sitting - aware.
I think I can say that tonight I have begun on a deliberate path of change. I have resolved to continue this regular zazen - both in my own home and at these weekly meetings. Hopefully this change will help me to learn (and defeat?) what I perceive as my greatest weaknesses: lack of self control / self discipline; lack of motivation; and lack of self respect.