Zazen or sitting meditation is a very good practice that has come into the Western World. We have been scurrying around far too much. We have made ourselves so busy that we do not give ourselves time to enjoy our time of rest and reflection. But as Aristotle pointed out long ago “the goal of action is contemplation.” In other words, our lives are shaped into being busy all the time, but what is it all about? People are busy because people think they are going somewhere and they are going to get something from being busy. Our whole society is based on the idea that life is about “making it”. So we build our whole lives on the idea that through hard work we are eventually going to end up at some place where we can at last be happy.
There is a great point to action when you know you are not going anywhere. This would be like if you worked like you sing or you dance because when you dance you know you are not going to get something from it; you dance for the sake of the dance—this is pure action. But if you act with the expectation that as a result of action you are eventually going to arrive at some place where everything will be alright then you are condemned to a treadmill where you keep running to attain something, but you will never find exactly what you are looking for. This is because you will always be where you are right now and right here, and so you are already there. You are always here and now, and there is really nowhere to go. Someone who has discovered that he is already at that place where he can be happy and in bliss is capable of action because he does not act frantically trying to get somewhere. A person like this can easily go into walking meditation. Walking meditation is where you walk because you are not in a great hurry to get to a destination because the walking itself is great and the walking itself is the destination to be enjoyed.
The point is that one cannot act creatively unless one is capable of stopping thinking. To do this we must meditate. Once you start sitting (meditating), you might find it very difficult. Most people find it boring, but this is because you are still thinking. If you were not thinking, you wouldn’t notice the passage of time, and when there are no thoughts the world becomes amazingly interesting and vivid. The most ordinary sights and smells become beautiful. It is only when you stop putting conceptions on the natural world that you can appreciate it and truly notice it. We meditate so we can be okay with being right here and right now, and understand that we will always be right here. We have already made it.