What is Zen Meditation?
Zen is a Buddhist philosophy that teaches one to get rid of worldly thoughts. The word Zen originates from ‘cha’an’, a Chinese word, and ‘dhyana’, a Sanskrit word meaning concentration.
Zen Meditation Techniques
Sit in a comfortable position with the spine erect. Your body should be at ease and stable, so that you can focus on emptying the mind without worrying about physical discomforts. You can use a meditation cushion for comfort and stabilizing your lower body.
Meditation helps to empty the mind. Normally, our monkey mind is full of incessant chatter. So, to focus the mind one needs to concentrate. Beginners can do this by starting with breathing exercises. Start with an exhalation, and count this as one. Continue to breathe deeply and keep counting with each exhalation till 10. To start, practice this breathing technique for about 15 minutes.
As you gain expertise, stop counting and simply focus on your breathing. Increase your meditation period to 30 minutes. With practice, your mind will slowly empty itself of worry, stress and even thought. Do not worry if you falter once or twice in your meditation practice. This is normal for even seasoned meditators. The key to success is perseverance. Slowly, your mind will become more disciplined and relaxed.
Many people prefer to meditate in silence. But for some, silence can be oppressive. Such people can use Zen relaxation music to stimulate an atmosphere conducive to meditation. Nature sounds, such as the sound of ocean waves, can also be helpful as these are rhythmic and continuous. Some people find that nature sounds are more helpful in calming their minds compared to silence.
Regular practice of Zen meditation can provide stress relief by soothing and calming the mind. Zen meditation has been practiced for hundreds of years in Japan, Tibet, India and other Asian regions. Today, it is becoming popular all over the world for its undeniable mental and physical benefits. So, practice Zen meditation daily to beat everyday stress.