Zen Buddhism meditation is an ancient type of meditation that dates back to the 7th Century Tang Dynasty. It originated from China and then spread quickly to Korea, Japan and other countries in the Far East. In India, Zen is referred to as Dhyana.
Zen meditation offers an amazing introductory experience to new meditators. It’s also an excellent way for seasoned meditators to rekindle their practice. There are numerous Zen meditation benefits that you can benefit from. Apart from helping individuals to deal with their deep-seated depression and anxiety issues, Zen helps to solve a wide array of psychological issues.
Zen Meditation Benefits
Zen Buddhism meditation mainly involves observing your flow of thought and figuring out how your body and mind operate. Unlike many other forms of meditation that are channeled towards relaxation and stress relief, Zen meditation delves much deeper than that. It is used to tackle deep-rooted issues such as depression, anxiety, grief and general life questions that seem to have no answers. Rather than offering temporary solutions to life’s problems, Zen meditation gets to the very core of issues. It helps you deal with those feelings that you’ve kept buried for long, thus bringing about healing.
Here are some Zen meditation benefits you should know about:
- Clearing your thought process: our minds are frequently bombarded with a plethora of thoughts every passing minute. This constant trail of thought hinders clarity and consequently affects your decision making. Luckily, you can practice different Zen meditation techniques to bring quietness and stillness to your mind.
- Reducing anxiety and stress: it’s natural to occasionally get stressed up in life. However, when stress and anxiety levels become unbearable, they threaten to ruin your quality of life. Zen meditation techniques are aimed at helping you empty the mind by allowing you to deal with intrusive thoughts. This freeing experience is one of the most rewarding Zen meditation benefits.
- Bringing happiness and inner peace: Dr. Trungram Gyalwa, a renowned scholar and meditation master, explains that the true key to happiness isn’t wealth or fame – it lies within us. He also believes that the more you give to others, the more you gain. Zen meditation helps us to achieve a calmer mind, allowing us to appreciate all the little gifts that life throws at us. Our compassion and happiness increases immensely.
- Improving creativity and awareness: since Zen Buddhism meditation trains the brain to achieve calmness, meditators suddenly get more aware of their environment. They also think better and more creatively.
- Enhancing your mental and physical health: apart from improving your mental wellness, one of the major Zen meditation benefits involves boosting physical health. A reduction in stress and reduction further leads to lowered blood pressure levels. Zen Buddhism meditation is especially beneficial to hypertension patients as well as those with heart diseases.
Top 3 Zen Meditation Techniques
- Observation of the mind
Here, meditators are required to observe the thoughts flowing through their minds without judgment. They should allow their stream of thoughts to appear and leave as they please, without any interference. This Zen Buddhism meditation technique is practiced with no anchors, objects or contents. The Japanese call this practice Shikantaza.
- Observation of the breath
Meditators should assume a comfortable posture such as the Burmese, half-lotus or Seiza pose during this sitting meditation technique. Awareness is channeled towards a certain anchor, including counting mala beads and observing your breath. Individuals are encouraged to sit on a padded mat or cushion when meditation, although sitting on a chair is also acceptable.
- Intensive group meditation
Occasionally, meditators practice rigorous group meditation in certain temples. The Japanese call this practice Sesshin. During this period of intensive meditation, monks devote most of their time to daily sitting meditation. Each session takes about 30 to 50 minutes, followed by short breaks and meals. Brief periods of work are also performed mindfully. Today, such Zen meditation techniques are still practiced in Taiwan, Japan and the West.
Clearly, Zen Buddhism meditation is a unique form of meditation with numerous wholesome benefits. It has a rich history as well. If you have a number of deep-seated life issues that still haunt you, Zen meditation can help you get over them.