Zen meditation is a sure-fire way to recharge your mind and body and perform at optimum levels. Though simple it is very effective. Here are 3 top techniques to practice it:
Meditation is a practice to relax the mind and body. You let go of your anxieties and forget about your daily routine for a few minutes. Once you get into a meditative state of mind, you become self-aware, in-touch with your senses and mindful of your thoughts. However, it does not mean suppressing your feelings or attempting to make them disappear. Among many techniques of meditation, zen meditation is the simplest, and effective.
Benefits Of Zen Meditation
This Buddhist practice has roots from 7th century China. Though ‘Zen’ in Mandarin is a derivative word from ‘Dhyana’ – An Indian term, it means concentration or meditation. You could be a novice or a seasoned meditator to practice it. This practice provides an insight into your mind.
Unlike other methods of meditation that focuses on relaxation and stress relief, zen meditation dives deep into the mind, its anxieties and explores general life-related questions. This is based on practice, intuition, and self-awareness rather than studies and logic. Regular practice of this method will enhance your mindfulness, awareness about yourself, and bring in a higher state of peace and calm.
Focus On Breathing
In this method, you sit in a simple half-lotus pose on a padded mat or a soft cushion. You can also sit on a chair if you feel comfortable. Once ready, close your eyes and direct your attention towards your breathing. Breathe slowly and observe how your belly and lungs expand and contract as you breathe in and out. Do this for 21 times. This technique improves a sense of presence and alertness.
The ‘Shikantaza’ Technique
‘Shikantaza’ in Japanese means ‘just sitting’. In this technique, there is no goal and you just sit, allowing your mind to ‘BE’. This is a different method and yet very effective. You allow your thoughts and feelings to flow free without judgment. Practitioners of this technique need to remember that ‘just being’ is NOT a means to an end – It is the end.
Zen Meditation In Groups
This is a more serious and higher level of meditation. Seasoned meditators, gather in groups at meditation centers or temples to practice this technique. Each session lasts for 30-50 minutes and meditators devote most of their time, to sitting meditation. As a part of this practice, meals are consumed in silence. Any other work is done mindfully in quiet observation of your thoughts and feelings, flowing in an unrestricted manner without judgment.
On an everyday level, you achieve a calm state of mind, through zen meditation. It improves your physical health, and creativity while helping you focus better at everything you do.
As a zen master may say – If you seek inner peace, you will not be able to find it. The act of giving up the idea of such a reward in itself and focusing on others’ happiness, creates a possibility of inner peace. This is truly the dimension of zen.