What Is Zen Meditation?
Zen Meditation has its roots deep into Buddhism. The Japanese word ‘Zen’ means meditation, and we know that Japan has a rich spread of Buddhist community and culture. Zen Buddhist, hence can also be called, Buddhist meditation and is a form of meditation that can also be called sitting meditation and is an easy way to hold and direct concentration at areas that need to be enlightened.
How To Do Zen meditation?
Zen Meditation for beginners will not be a great challenge to begin. Keep your choice of clothing for Zen loose and simple, preferably of cotton. Start by getting into the best sitting position. Get a zafu, or a small pillow for yourself, though this depends on the kind of position you prefer. The various positions a zazen meditation practitioner can opt for are as follows:
The Burmese Position – This is the easiest of all the positions practiced in Zen Buddhist. Legs are crossed and both knees rest flat on the floor. One of the ankles is crossed in front of the other.
The Half Lotus Position – It is also knows as the Hankafuza position and you can sit in this position by placing your left foot on the right thigh.
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The Full Lotus Position – Though the Burmese position is the easiest to achieve, the full Lotus position is the one that keeps you stable for the longest time. You will have to stretch each foot to the opposite thigh. It is a little painful at the beginning but it gradually gets easier in a week’s time. However, someone who suffers from chronic knee pain should rather consult a doctor before signing up for the Kekkafuza, as many call it.
The Kneeling Position – The kneeling position, or the Seiza, as the name suggests can be achieved by kneeling down resting your hips on your ankles.
The Chair Position – You can sit on a chair and keep your back aligned straight to its back.
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The Standing Position – Popular in Korea and China, those who find sitting for longer periods uncomfortable can perform Zen Meditation by standing straight with feet apart from each other with their distance measuring up the width of your shoulder. Though the heels should be slightly closer to each other than the toes area. Place your hands on your stomach – right over the left, knees should not be locked.
The rest of the Zen meditation techniques are very simple. After achieving your comfortable position, form the cosmic mudra with your hands. Now clear your mind of all the worries on earth – yes, this is easier said than done, and we all have been there – but try your level best to shut the world outside your head. Concentrate your mind on your breath rather. You may shut your eyes completely or keep them half opened.
Inhale and exhale while you count them till ten. Repeat this process, thought will keep coming back and you will keep pushing them away. Count till ten again. Repeat this for 15 minutes and you will find the intensity of thoughts have declined. Count inhalation and exhalation and now you will find it easier to concentrate only on the breath. When practiced regularly for a period of one month, you will attain the level of peace sooner.
Meditate in this position for 15 minutes, and week by week add five minutes to the position till you reach a place where you can sit in this position for 45 minutes without a single thought intruding your concentration. Explore this new found stillness.
Now open your eyes slowly, warm up your arms and legs so the blood pressure resumes the normal rate.
Benefits Of Zen Meditation
- The practitioner learns to manage stress and anxiety. Zen Meditation retreasts the mind of confusions and trains one to empty the head of debilitating thoughts.
- Mental clarity is attained by regular practice of Zen meditation and the mind learns to focus on little but important issues in life.
- Patients of chronic depression derive unreal comfort from the practice, as it helps them overcome anxiety and stress.
- Once the smogginess of the min is dealt with, Zen encourages its practitioner to find hidden awareness of the healthy mind.
- It also helps patients of insomnia to find calm and deep sleep.
- Those who sit regularly to meditate, following the Zen Meditation Instructions above, would find a renewed energy in their bodies.
- By awakening awareness, Zen Buddhist also boosts once self-confidence.
Zen Buddhisht meditation has gathered a lot of popularity in the recent times. Many hotels have dedicated Zen Meditation rooms with Zen meditation music which is slow and soothing. Many Japanese prefer Zen garden meditation as opposed to siting in rooms to experience the real retreat offered by the practice.
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