If there is one element most people are familiar about when it comes to Zen Buddhism it’s the art and science of zen meditation. While most people are familiar with the concept of meditation, they are probably only familiar with it on a basic level. Zen meditation is not just about calming and relaxing the mind. There is a deeper meaning and spirituality behind it. As such, a greater exploration of the process is worth engaging.
Zen meditation is more than a way to relax. It’s a means to cultivate inner wisdom and peace. It’s a way to silence the mind and connect with your inner self.
What is Zen Meditation?
Zen meditation is practiced in many forms in both eastern and western countries. It is one of the well-known meditation techniques used by people who wish to get rid of their stressful lives.
But what exactly is Zen meditation? How does it work? And, more importantly, how can you begin to practice it in a way that works for you?
There are many styles of meditation, but one of the most popular methods is Zen meditation. Zen meditation focuses on living in a state of peace and calm within the now. In order to achieve this state, you must let go of your worries, concerns, and thoughts that are not immediately relevant to the present moment.
What is the primary purpose of meditation in Zen Buddhism?
It should come as no surprise that the ultimate goal of meditation in Buddhism is to attain enlightenment. But the are many other benefits. Buddhist meditation helps achieve a higher state of consciousness by removing common obstacles to attaining enlightenment. This is achieved through reflecting on life, the universe, and all things in between. Through closing one’s eyes, relaxing, and looking inward, it becomes possible to see one’s experiences in a clearer perspective. Such a process allows for a greater understanding of oneself and one’s place in the world. It also aids in reducing the psychic noise and internal dialogue that may clutter how we perceive things and how we act.
The practice of meditation is a means of entering the present moment. It is a way to connect to the source of your own being and to cultivate a deeper understanding of life. Meditation helps us to be more fully present in our daily lives and frees our minds of distractions. These distractions cause us to lose touch with our inner nature and experience inner peace, joy, and contentment.
In some ways, you could say that meditation can be a form of personal psychotherapy. Our perceptions and actions can be dictated by the inaccurate way we see things. Personal psychoses can lead to poor interpersonal and intrapersonal relations. By calming the mind, we can get a better handle on both these components. That, in turn, allows us to be more effective in our daily pursuits and also aids in the potential to attain enlightenment.
Through years of practice, Zen experts have found ways to get the most out of meditation practice. Often, Zen meditation will involve pondering on a Zen koan. A koan is a form of riddle/parable designed to be pondered on. Generally, the messages and morals of a Zen koan are ambiguous. Such ambiguity is by design because it promotes the potential to think deeply on the answer to the riddle. In most instances, there is no answer to be found and finding a definitive answer is not the purpose. The goal is to develop deep personal insights that can help you improve spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. The inclusion of a koan helps provide targeted thinking on a particular concept. For many, this aid in making the meditation session quite fruitful because pondering on the koans helps keep the mind focused.
Similarly, some may ponder on a mantra. A mantra can be a word or phrase that when meditated upon can also lead to deep insights and meaning. A basic mantra such as “life is all things good” can mean different things for different people. Regardless of what its individual interpretations mean, great insights can be derived when thinking of this or any other mantra. As with this koan, a mantra can prevent the unfortunate instance of intrusive thoughts permeating the mind and undermining the value of the session.
Zen is the perfect path for people seeking a spiritual practice that’s focused on the present moment. It offers a complete approach to life in which you can find a balance between your inner and outer life, overcome suffering, and wake up to the wonder of being alive.
How To Perform Zen Meditation
There is no single right way to meditate, but there are specific guidelines when it comes to performing meditation. You will need to have a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed. Noise and distractions can undermine your ability to properly mediate. That is why you need to pick the proper time and place to meditate.
Additionally, you will want to be as comfortable as possible when you meditate. That means you need to wear loose-fitting clothing and have a cushioned mat on which to sit. If you’re not comfortable, you run the risk of being distracted and not be able to focus during a prolonged period of time necessary to get into a meditative state.
It takes time to practice Zen or any other type of meditation. The more you do it, the better you will become. When practiced regularly it can yield amazing benefits.