What Is Zen Meditation?
Zen is an ancient Buddhist tradition that focuses on meditation. It originated in 7th century China and spread to Japan, Korea, etc. Zen is practiced to live a serene, tranquil, and happy life. It is a way of life and depends upon your intuition to grasp it.
The legendary Buddhist monk Bodhidharma, who spread Chan Buddhism in China described Zen through his words…
“Not dependent on the written word,
Transmission apart from the scriptures;
Directly pointing at one’s heart,
Seeing one’s nature, becoming Buddha”
By observing this poem closely, we can say that Zen Meditation is to knowing yourself completely. Zen is about knowing your true nature, and your heart so that you can be able to understand your true self. By this way, you will be able to attain inner peace just as Buddha did.
When you know yourself from your heart, the inner self completely, from that point you begin to go away from the things that don’t matter to you. Instead, you begin to recognize and do things which is meaningful in your life and improves it.
The Benefits Of Zen Meditation
Zen through Meditation ends suffering by helping you to understand yourself. When you know yourself properly, then only you would be able to tell or acknowledge what is wrong with yourself and why it is wrong. Then you can correct the wrong things which make your life miserable, sufferings, and tough. You can begin to work on improving yourself by following the right path to living an amazing, balanced life.
Following Zen Meditation and incorporating it into your life, you can unleash your true and positive self. Began to live a life of eternal bliss, compassion, and peace. You stop attaching to the materialistic things and stop doing meaningless things.
Zen Meditation benefits you by
- Cleaning your mind: To focus on things that really matter to us and to know exactly what will add value to our life we have to clean our mind at first. We have to clean our mind from unnecessary and negative thoughts, beliefs, and ideas. Then only we can implement new, good, true things in our life. Zen Meditation or Zazen helps us to clean our mind and opens it to new ideas and thoughts.
- Helps you to get rid of materialistic clutter: Zazen will cleanse your mind and you will get rid of many unhealthy thoughts which cause you to stock unnecessary things in your house and workplace. This
createheaps of physical clutter in your house or workplace.
Zazen Or Zen Meditation helps you to get rid of the unnecessary things from your life and house. You can donate them to charity or just give your other family members.
How To Practice Zen Meditation Or Zazen?
Find A Quiet Spot And A Zafu
Like the other meditation techniques, Zazen or Zen meditation also requires a quiet, clean and serene place to practice. It should be neither too cold or warm, nor too dark or bright. To enhance the environment, you can light incense sticks and keep a statue or picture of Buddha or Bodhisattva.
Then you have to take a zafu, which is the round, soft pillow that is designed especially for zazen meditation. Zafu raises you off the ground so that your back does not slouch and you don’t sink into the ground. This makes you comfortable to be focused on meditation.
While it is best to practice Zen meditation or zazen on a zafu, it is not compulsory. You can meditate where you please like on a chair, couch, or ground.
Choose A Time To Meditate
It is very good to meditate in the morning as the weather is peaceful, the sun is rising, and no pollution in the air. You have to meditate at the same time every day you practice it.
If you are not comfortable in the morning or wake up late you can practice it in the evening also. But keep it regular at the same time.
Because when you meditate at the same time every day it will become a habit and then it will be easier to practice it.
In the beginning, start doing only 5 minutes of meditation. Because it is hard at the beginning to concentrate on the process.
Slowly you can raise the time to 10 to 20 minutes at a time after some months. And stick to the time period of your meditation to convert it to a habit that never goes away.
Choose A Pose To Practice Zen Or Zazen Meditation
Zen meditation is done mostly on lotus pose, i.e, both half lotus and full lotus. But it is not compulsory and you can sit on any of the following position and practice zazen.
- Half Lotus Pose: IN this position you have to either put your right leg on the left thigh or left leg on the right thigh. Then keep the other leg in the beneath of the opposite leg.
- Full Lotus Pose: In this pose, you have to put each of your legs on the opposite thigh. This is more challenging to do for beginners. Therefore, for the beginners, it is recommended to start with the half lotus pose.
- Burmese Pose: In this pose, you have cross both your legs so that your knees rest on the ground. Take notice that your ankles should not lie over each other.
- Seiza Pose: In the Seiza pose you have to kneel down on the floor or a couch and rest your whole body weight on your ankles. It is also a hard position for beginners and should be practiced only for 2 minutes in the beginning.
Be Aware Of Your Breathe
When you are ready to meditate by sitting in a quiet place and in a comfortable position, think about anything calming and close your eyes. Slowly bring attention to your breathe as you inhale and exhale. If you feel like wandering from the attention of your breathing, begin to count your breath. Counting, as you slowly breathe will bring back your attention to your breathing process.
When you finish meditating gently open your eyes and slowly bring awareness back to the real world. Don’t stand up just after you finish meditating and take your time. Now feel the peace of mind and belongingness to every soul of this universe.
Zen Meditation or Zazen will bring you peace of mind and teach you to stay away from the unnecessary thoughts and materials. This way, it will end your sufferings by knowing the true self.