Just sitting
Words by Dan Millman


When asked the meaning of Zen, a monk responded, “Just sitting.” Simple. Or perhaps not. We tend to sit and fidget, sit and daydream, sit and ruminate about to-do lists, unfinished business, past and future. My old mentor described in Way of the Peaceful Warrior — the man I called ‘Socrates,’ once said, “I call myself a warrior, a peaceful warrior, because the important battles are inside.”

On this battle field of the psyche we face demons of doubt, imps of insecurity, the detritis of opinions, associations, beliefs, and the varied meanings we project upon the world. Which is why writer Barbara Rasp noted, “The lesson is simple; the student is complicated.”

Not all sitting is meditation, and not all meditation involves sitting. Sport, games, playing a musical instrument, can all become absorbing forms of dynamic meditation.

But the foundation practice for each of us remains — this confrontation with stillness, with silence, with ourselves, in the workshop and on the battle field of sitting still.


Dan Millman, a former world champion athlete, gymnastics coach, martial arts instructor and college professor, has authored 16 books published in 29 languages. His classic, Way of the Peaceful Warrior was adapted to film in 2006. peacefulwarrior.com

This feature was first published in Issue One of SATORI. To explore issue one further click here.


Created by Duncan Woods & Seb Camilleri