What is Zen Meditation? Benefits & Techniques

Zen meditation reveals the mind's natural capacity for clarity and practicality. In Zen, awakening is the experience of realizing one's inherent nature. If you want to know more, here are the top benefits and techniques of Zen meditation.

By Trisha
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Zen Meditation
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Zen meditation is a long-standing Buddhist practice that originated in China during the Tang Dynasty in the seventh century. Zen meditation is a traditional Buddhist practice that is appropriate for beginners as well as experienced practitioners. Understanding how the mind functions is one of the numerous advantages of Zen meditation. Zen meditation practice, like other Buddhist meditation styles, offers numerous benefits to individuals, including coping mechanisms for anxiety and sadness. The ultimate goal is spiritual since Zen meditation reveals the mind's natural capacity for clarity and practicality. In Zen, awakening is the experience of realizing one's inherent nature.


If you want to know more, here are the top benefits and techniques of Zen meditation:

Zen Meditation Benefits

Zen Buddhists practice meditation as a way to gain insight into the nature of the body and mind and to observe and let go of thoughts and sensations that occur in the mindstream. Zen uses practice and intuition rather than research and reasoning to address fundamental problems and universal questions about life. These questions normally do not have clear answers. 


Zen and other Buddhist meditation techniques focus on addressing fundamental difficulties rather than providing temporary fixes for life's challenges. 

Buddhism teaches that you receive more from others the more you give, just like all other true spiritual schools do. Additionally, it fosters an appreciation for all the small blessings life bestows upon us, all of which are contained in this very moment, as well as an awareness of our connectivity. 

Letting go


You won't find inner serenity, as a Zen teacher may say, but it is possible to achieve long-lasting peace by letting go of the notion that inner calm is a reward in and of itself and putting other people's happiness instead. 


Zen teaches the mind to become calm on a daily basis. Additionally, meditators can reflect more creatively and with greater intensity. Another advantage of practicing zazen is better physical health. Practitioners report improved immune systems, lower blood pressure, less stress and anxiety, more restorative sleep, and other benefits. 


Top Zen Meditation Techniques

Observation of the breath

During zazen, practitioners should settle into a comfortable position such as the half-lotus, Burmese, or Seiza poses. Sitting on a cushioned mat or cushion is ideal, although chairs are also suitable. During meditation, awareness is focused on a single object: usually, the breath and, more precisely, its movement into and out of the abdominal region. This approach fosters an enduring sense of presence and awareness.


Quiet awareness

This type of meditation does not rely on the breath or another focal point. Here, meditators learn to let thoughts come to them without resistance, condemnation, or grasping. This is referred to as "just sitting" (shikantaza) in Japanese. This Zen Buddhist meditation method is performed without the use of any anchors, contents, or meditation objects.

The lessons stress that there isn't really a goal. The meditator "just sits," letting their thoughts wander freely. It is crucial for practitioners to realize that zazen is the goal; it is not a means to an end.   


Intensive group meditation

Dedicated meditators routinely engage in strenuous group meditation practices in meditation centers or temples. This is known as the session practice in Japanese. The majority of the practitioners' time is spent in sitting meditation during this phase of intense concentration. Every session lasts between thirty and fifty minutes, with short breaks, eating, and walking meditation in between. As part of the tradition, meals are consumed silently and typically in oryoki bowls. Additionally, brief bursts of work are completed consciously. These days, Taiwan, Japan, and the West all conduct Zen meditation retreats.

Final thoughts

Hopefully, you learned useful benefits and techniques of Zen meditation in this article. Start doing Zen meditation every day to slowly get accustomed to it. 

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