The Practice of Zen

There are a number of relaxation techniques that exist all over the world with their own distinct characteristics. These techniques have their own stories and foundations as they have historical backgrounds which tell of their beginnings and how they came to be.

While some relaxation techniques utilize different methods such as aromatherapy or even the technological advent that has come throughout the years, there are still some relaxation techniques that exist that only use the body and the mind.

Yoga and meditation are the most common practices that don’t require any apparatus or accessory aside from yourself. They only involve the use of concentration and moving your body around. One of those practices is Zen meditation which comes from a long history since its establishment and has now become one of the most well-known and positively received relaxation techniques all over the globe.

What is Zen?

Zen comes from the discipline of the Mahayana Buddhism. This practice originated from China way back in the 6th century and introduced as Chan. And then from China, the practice of Zen slowly spread to the Southern regions reaching Vietnam, to the Northeast regions reaching Korea and then to the Eastern regions reaching Japan.

What the practice of Zen focuses on is the achievement of a state of enlightenment and how one can express his or her own insights in the Buddhist teachings. This is quite familiar as it is also the goal of many natural and historical relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, tai chi and more.

This is why Zen does not focus more on the knowledge of the sutras and the doctrine but it emphasizes more on the understanding of the practice itself through the zazen and interaction which is mostly made effective when done with an experienced teacher.

The Zen teachings include a variety of sources which stems around the practice. They usually come from the Mahayana thought which include the Yogacara, the Tathagatagarbha Sutras, the Huayan, the Madhyamaka and even the Prajnaparamita literature.

The Zen Meditation


The practice of Zen is focused on the meditation or the dhyana. Those who believe in the tradition of Zen hold the principle that through the practice of meditation, the doctrine and the teachings are upheld. These beliefs are often connected with the notions that obscure the uplifting wisdom that is often associated with the nature of the Buddhist belief and nature.

This is considered as discovering oneself again and it goes under terms like introspection or taking a step backwards to find the meaning of one’s self and provide enlightenment when it comes to one’s sense of purpose in life.

Observing how you breathe is essential in the Zen meditation practice. It is often that practitioners take a lotus position, a half lotus position or a cross-sitting position which facilitates a degree of focus and discipline at the same time. It is believed that to regulate one’s mind, one has to be aware on his or her breathing and then counting or putting forth energy in the area located below the navel.

This sense of awareness brings about a level of focus that contributes to the goal of the Zen meditation which is enlightenment. For the comfort of the practitioner, a soft mat or cushion is placed on the floor where one sits on. In other cases, a chair can be used if one is not used to sitting in the lotus or half-lotus positions.

Focusing on one’s mind is a key factor that is essential in the practice of Zen meditation. The practice of meditation which does not rely on objects, anchors or any similar articles is the primary form of the meditative practice that is done by Zen practitioners. During meditation, the practitioner works on achieving the awareness of his or her thoughts, allowing them to appear and then letting them pass on without dwelling on them.

This practice is thought to be philosophical in its own right while others call it to be textual or an experience that is just a unique phenomenon in itself. The justification of this meditative practice can be read in Dogen’s Shobogenzo as the different principles of the Zazen are found as well as the instructions on how to perform the Zazen.

Group meditation is also an accepted practice in the Zen tradition. These group meditations are often done in monasteries where a group of people would gather and initiate meditation. Monks may initiate the intensive group meditation which can last as long as several hours daily.

During this period of intensive meditation and focus, they devote themselves only to the practice of sitting meditation and relinquishing the negative thoughts that they may have. Though it is found that this meditative practice is done for several hours of each day, these may only span about an hour and is already considered as a long period for meditation.

The practitioners then take short breaks to rest for meals, naps or even short periods for work but still maintaining the same state of mind. Even sleep at night is kept to the minimum requirement which last for about 7 hours or even less. The length of intensive group meditation in Zen which can last from one to seven days, is usually taken by a number of students and is practiced in various countries like Japan, Taiwan and even the United States.

These meditations are often held in Zen centers to commemorate the Buddhist beliefs. One article that may be used in Zen meditation is a flat wooden slat which is used to maintain the focus and awareness of the practitioner and also ensuring that he or she stays awake.

The practice of Zen is a historical feat that stems from many years in its foundation. Coming from the Buddhist belief that achieving a sense of inner peace and enlightenment is more important than the materialistic aspect of life, the Zen meditation allows us to focus on our mind and how it correlates with the body. As years go by, the practice Zen just continues to develop.

The Role of Zen in Health

Zen MeditationZen meditation has been a long existing practice that is now known as a popular relaxation technique and disciplinary practice. While it’s true that Zen meditation really does wonders as its ultimate goal is achieving inner peace and tranquility, there are a lot of benefits that Zen meditation carries for its practitioners. Just one of those benefits that Zen meditation does is for your health.

So, you may be wondering, “How can the simple practice of meditation help improve one’s health?” Indeed, there are some things about Zen meditation that can’t be clearly explained by science but it really does its magic for the good of our body. But there are those that a number of research studies have proven the benefits of Zen meditation. Just what are some of the good things that Zen meditation brings to our health? Here are just a few of them.

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The Values and Principles of Zen  

Zen Meditation

Zen meditation is considered as one of the most effective and efficient relaxation techniques and one of the most popular stress busters for a lot of people. While there’s still debate going on in regards to the benefits that Zen meditation brings, there are a number of research studies that have already been conducted, proving the benefits that Zen meditation has, both for our body and our mind.

But let’s face the facts. It’s undeniable that Zen meditation is a great way to relax the mind and allow our imagination to exercise itself. But what are the principles and values does the practice of Zen meditation observes? Here are just some that you have to know when it comes to the essentials of the Zen meditation practice.

A Calm and Clear Mind

The ultimate goal of Zen meditation is achieving inner peace and tranquility. That is why one of the basic principles that Zen meditation stands upon is allowing your mind to be calm and be clear. Throwing away distracting thoughts and focusing one’s thoughts on the mind itself is the way to go in Zen meditation. Achieving a state of mind that’s clear and calm is easier said than done. But with continuous practice of the meditative practice, you can have an easier time to perform it. As your mind clears up and your thoughts start to be calm, that’s when you experience the full capability of Zen meditation.

Counterattacking Bad Thoughts

It’s unavoidable that bad thoughts will enter our minds, even when we’re already meditating. We’re only human and it really happens. May it be an annoying coworker, a regretful gesture to another person or not saying thanks to someone who did something nice, these things may affect your concentration in Zen meditation and prevent you from achieving the state of inner peace and tranquility.

That is why one of the most well-known techniques in Zen meditation is counteracting the bad thoughts. For example, whenever a bad thought pops up into your mind, think of something that can make you smile or happy. With this counteracting of bad thoughts, your mind is slowly getting closer to achieving a calm and clear state.

Throw Away Worldly Desires

This part may seem familiar to you but in Zen meditation, it’s a must. This principle had originated from the beginnings of the Zen meditation itself. As with the Buddhist beliefs coming from Buddha, letting go of the connections or the things that bind us to the material world is important since being bound to the world will not allow your ego to achieve what the mind need which is tranquility. Let go of what you desire and let your mind be cleared from all the temptations. That’s how Zen meditation works.

Focus and Concentration

When it comes to Zen meditation, the steady foundation that serves as its strength is the principle of focus and concentration. Zen meditation requires practitioners to focus their thoughts and throw away the distracting things that may ruin the essence of the meditative practice, hindering the goal of inner peace and tranquility. While it is truly hard to do this, constant practice will allow you to develop the skill. What’s more, this aspect of the Zen meditation brings a great advantage in your everyday life in work or at school since you’re also improving your focus and concentrating ability. That means you can work for a longer time or you can have an easier time studying. Neat, right?

Zen meditation doesn’t need anything else but yourself. With these principles, the meditative practice exercises its power. What are you waiting for? Go and learn Zen meditation now!

The Benefits of Zen Practice

Being one of the most popular and one of the best known relaxation techniques, the practice of Zen meditation has become a widespread relaxation technique that is utilized by different kinds of people from all walks of life. While not requiring any props or objects to do aside from yourself, Zen meditation is certainly an easy but incredibly rewarding practice.

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Zen for the Mind

The practice of Zen meditation is one of the most well-known relaxation techniques that bring about a number of benefits. It’s not only being practiced in one particular country but today, Zen meditation is being done all over the world. Originating from the Zen Buddhist belief, the goal of Zen meditation is achieving a state of inner peace and tranquility through the use of natural methods, like focusing on your breathing pattern and focusing on your thoughts through meditation.

There are a lot of benefits that come along with Zen meditation. While it delivers a number of perks when it comes to the physiological aspect of our lives, it also gives us the opportunity to exercise and improve our minds. What are the benefits of Zen meditation to our mental capacities and emotional health? Here are just a few of those benefits and how it contributes to our lives.

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Beginning the Zen Meditation

One of the best relaxation exercises today is found in the practice of Zen meditation. With its long list of benefits which include the improvement of your posture, a healthy way to manage stress and a great way to achieve inner peace and tranquility, it’s no wonder that Zen meditation has become more and more popular all over the world. Originating from the Zen Buddhist belief, the Zen meditation or Zazen is a form of meditation that usually involves the practitioner to sit in a lotus or half lotus position but now, it has been accepted that a sitting position as long as it is comfortable to the practitioner is allowed.

The Zen meditation is composed of different steps that lead to its success. How is Zen meditation done and practiced? Here are the steps that you can take to ensure a rewarding Zen meditation.

Zen Meditation

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