monks zen meditation

Zen Meditation






Overview

- Zen has its roots in ancient Buddhist thought. Zen meditation is simply an extension of the lifestyle, which is rooted in a kind and peaceful philosophy. One attempts to achieve a single-pointedness of the mind, not only in a way of life, but in meditation as well.

- Within Zen meditation a koan is used. A koan is an a-logical (beyond logic) statement that is focused upon while meditating. A famous example is “what is the sound of one hand clapping?” or “ what did your face look like before your mother and father met?”

- The purpose of the koan is to repeat the question in your mind, thus occupying your mental processes. There is no solution to the koan so therefore the question can be repeated infinitely.

- Repeating the koan releases your mind from other distractions you may be experiencing.

-Koans are introduced into the zen meditation once the meditator is in a relaxed and focused state with controlled breathing. Can take anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes depending on the meditators experience.

- Before starting the meditation a body relaxation technique and the breathing meditation technique is used.

- To begin the breathing meditation, you will focus on visualizing the air you breathe travelling in through your nose, down your throat, filling your lungs, leaving your lungs passing back through your throat, and back out your nose.

- If you find your mind drifting off into other things (like what's for dinner? or that project is due pretty soon) simply firmly but gently take your mind back to what you are presently doing. Take yourself back to the activity.

START HERE: Do This Body Relaxtion Technique Before any Meditation!


The Method

1. As you take each deep breath, feel the sensation of air entering and leaving your nose. Notice that the air entering your nose feels slightly cool, and the air that’s leaving your nose feels slightly warm. This is key.

2. Get to really feel this sensation. Take a few deep billows of air to familiarize yourself with this.

3. When you’re ready, you will mentally count each repetition you take. You will do this slowly 21 times, each time focusing on the feeling. Once you make it to 21, start again.

4.Try to repeat the cycle 5 times or until your breathing is controlled and your mind is focused.

5. Introduce a koan into your meditation. You can use the example, “what did your face look like before your mother and father met?”


Important Note

- You can do this meditation for as long as you like. Be patient, because it takes years for many to build the discipline to accomplish 20 minutes of continuous meditation.

- The Zen meditation is recommended for advanced users. That does not mean this meditation is better. It simply means that a higher level of concentration is needed to successfully attain a single-pointedness of mind.


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