Zen

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Zen

 

According to the Urban Dictionary, “one way to think of Zen is this: a total state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of body and mind. Zen is a way of being. It also is a state of mind. Zen involves dropping illusion and seeing things without distortion created by your own thoughts.”

Dictionary.com says, Zen “emphasizes enlightenment for the student by the most direct possible means, accepting formal studies and observances only when they form part of such means.”

According to Wikipedia, Zen school was strongly influenced by Taoism and developed as a distinct school of Chinese Buddhism… The term Zen is derived from the Japanese pronunciation of the Middle Chinese word 禪 (Chan) which traces its roots to the Indian practice of Dhyana (“meditation”). Zen emphasizes rigorous self-control, meditation-practice, insight into Buddha-nature, and the personal expression of this insight in daily life, especially for the benefit of others. As such, it de-emphasizes mere knowledge of sutras and doctrine and favors direct understanding through zazen and interaction with an accomplished teacher.

Although there are many practices recommended in Zen Buddhism such as: Observing the Breath, Observing the Mind, Koans, and chanting, etc. I was attracted to the simplest practice of Zen – focusing on one’s breathing.

It entails just watching, or observing, or counting one’s breathing – the rising and falling of one’s abdomen and doesn’t necessarily require any specific postures Although many practice meditation sitting cross-legged in the lotus or half-lotus position, it can also be done sitting in a comfortable chair. The main focus of this practice is to slow down one’s mind and just observe one’s thoughts, become one with their true Buddha-Nature, true Self.

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Nothing – in Chinese character – by Griffith Rees

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I have never studied or practiced Zen with a teacher. I have pretty much only embraced the Breathing Meditation.

Just like Taoism, Zen, or at least, the Breathing Meditation fits with my ideal lifestyle of balancing mind and body using a whole-person wheel, in its easiest and simplest practice and form.

What are your favourite spiritual practices? Please share in the comment box below.

 

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