Zen Meditation is actually an ancient Buddhist tradition which dates back to the 7th century, corresponding to the Tang dynasty. From its origins in China, it spread to Japan, Korea and other Asian regions where it thrived continuously. The Japanese term Zen is actually a derivative of Ch’an which is a Chinese world, and it translates to Dhyana which is an Indian term. It means meditation or concentration. It is a traditional Buddhist practice and discipline that is practiced by both beginners and seasoned meditators. One of the major benefits of this particular form of meditation is that it offers insight into how actually the mind works. Like other forms of Buddhist meditation, its practice can benefit people in a plethora of ways that includes coping with depression as well as anxiety issues. Its deepest purpose is spiritual since the Zen meditation practice uncovers the workability as well as innate clarity of the mind.
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Steps to Do Zen Meditation
The entire meditative process is very simple, and it mainly focuses on stillness and posture. You should find a well-lit room with quite a comfortable temperature. Just take a cushion, also known as Zafu, traditionally, and place it on the floor or mat where you will sit on. The cushion makes sure that your hips are elevated above the floor or mat, and the knees should face downwards towards the floor. Make sure that you wear loose, comfortable and airy clothing and then sit on the cushion in Half Lotus Pose or Full Lotus Pose called Padmasana.
- Sit Right
In case of Full Lotus pose, you should place both of the feet on your opposite thighs, on each side. In case of Half Lotus pose you can place any of your ankles on the opposite thigh. In case you are comfortable sitting, take a kneeling position or sit on a backless bench. However, the sitting position is often recommended. Ensure that your back is upright and erect. Keep your body duly balanced, and it shouldn’t be too much tensed or relaxed.
- Hand Posture
Your hands should form a particular cosmic mudra. In order to do so, allow your palms to actually face upward and then keep the right hand on your left hand. After doing this, get both of your thumbs’ tips to touch each other that forms a nearly straight line. Keep this hand formation intact and now place your wrists on the thighs with inner edges of the hands against your stomach. Never allow your hand mudra to get distorted as it is actually an indicator of the stability of the mind. In case you are allowing the hands to loosen the mudra, your mind isn’t actually concentration enough on this particular posture.
In the case of Zen meditation, your eyes aren’t completely closed. Partially closed eyes actually assist you in staying alert as well as avoid drowsiness. You should keep your eyes half closed and then direct the gaze diagonally lower, that faces the ground. You don’t actually have to focus on anything. It is recommended that you sit in front of a wall in order to avoid distractions.
- Correct Breathing
The most crucial aspect of this form of meditation is breathing. Ensure that your mouth duly shut while you practice it. You should only breathe through your nose. The inhalation should happen naturally, and you should concentrate on exhaling. Try to find a rhythmic pattern and then try to follow it. Ensure that you keep a count of the total number of breaths in order to increase your awareness.
- Setting Your Mind
As you actually sit in this meditative positive and then breathe, the thoughts which are buried deeper into the unconscious mind will certainly resurface and start playing in your head. Don’t allow those thoughts to break your concentration as it will affect you more. Allow them to pass just like a flowing river.
In order to make this process quite easier, it is recommended that you pay special attention to the posture as well as breathing in case your mind actually wavers. It will achieve the same and assist you with quiet meditation. As you practice Zen, the feelings is kept lessening, and the mind will start to become restful.
Benefits of Zen Meditation
- For Zen mediators, meditation actually involves observing as well as letting go all the thoughts along with feelings which arise in the stream of the mind. It also develops insight into the nature of mind and body. It focuses on relaxation as well as stress relief. It tackles various deep-rooted issues and different general life question which people often lack answers. It achieves this by practice and intuition instead of logic and study. It is famously described as a special transmission outside the entire teachings and isn’t established upon any word or letters.
- Different schools of Zen practice the particular sitting meditation known a Zazen where the mediator has to sit upright and then follow the breath. In this case, the movement of the breath is within the belly. Few schools of Zen even practice with Koans which are a special type of spiritual riddle and is presented by the Zen teacher to the student in order to assist them to overcome their limited rational mind and help them to glimpse the entire trust beyond the inherent rationality.
- Instead of providing temporary solutions to problems of life, Zen looks to address the various core issues. This practice points to the entire true cause of dissatisfaction and unhappiness that people often experience and shifts the focus in a particular way which brings true understanding.
- The true happened doesn’t lie in fame or wealth. It lies within our mind and body. Like different genuine and well-established spiritual paths, Buddhism actually teaches about the more you actually give to others, the more you will gain. It also increases awareness of appreciation of the little gifts that life actually provides us with all of them contained within the present moment. As the compassion and concern for others increases, it leads to personal fulfillment.
On each day, Zen meditation trains your mind to achieve calmness. Zen meditators also able to easily reflect with more creativity and better focus. It improves physical health too. People who practice Zazen often find that this meditation lowers their blood pressure, reduces stress and anxiety, improves their immune systems, helps in getting more restorative sleep. Zen meditation is truly a great form of meditation which is especially recommended for people with high-stress jobs and for students.