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Beginning Zen Meditation

If you have been giving thought and consideration to beginning Zen meditation, it is important to have a basic level of understanding about how to go about training your mind.  Zen meditation, otherwise known as Zazen, is one of the simplest and gentlest ways to master your psyche through quietness and emptiness.

A common mistake made by those who are just beginning Zen meditation is to try too hard.  If you are attempting to force yourself to have a quiet mind and refuse all reflection, these then become your thoughts, ultimately defeating the purpose you desire.  Without deliberation, you must learn to allow your mind to become quiet and still without forcing it.

When you are beginning Zen meditation, the best way to approach a session is to allow yourself to become an observer to your thoughts and breathing.  This will enable you to detach from thoughts and slowly allow each layer of your mind to become empty and quiet.  One by one your thoughts will come and go, floating in and out of your mind, and one day you will just be, without even thinking about it.

Meditation offers different benefits and enables you to access your subconscious mind and eventually the higher consciousness.  For someone beginning Zen meditation, it is important to have much patience as you endeavor to obtain inner peace and enlightenment.  You may notice some benefits straight away if you regularly practice meditation, and as you continue the subtle release of old thinking patterns can enable you to reach deeper levels of rumination and spiritual connection

Practicing Zen meditation is not only for those who follow Buddhist philosophies, and Christians. Catholics, Mormons or anyone of any belief system can use Zen meditation.  Another facet to beginning Zen meditation is the feeling of greater spiritual connection it brings, and once you empty your mind of irrelevant and unnecessary thoughts, you will be open to receive revelations and have new realizations on a much deeper level.

Dualistic thinking can be explained best by giving an example.  If you were raised by a strict catholic family and have just started to study Buddhism, there could very possibly be conflicting thoughts and beliefs battling within your mind. This can cause unnecessary stress, confusion and doubt over the right path and direction for you in life.  Many people today have fallen victim to dualistic thinking, and often simply float through life feeling lost and uncertain.  Beginning Zen meditation will be the best way you can come to know yourself and discover that the most important focus in your own existence is to have your individual ideas and opinions that are not influenced by the masses.

Zen meditation is not something to be daunted by, but is actually a peaceful process of letting go and allowing yourself to reconnect with your spirituality.  Learning to let go of old thought patterns and come closer to knowing yourself is achievable with meditation, and regular daily practice is most effective.  For those considering beginning Zen meditation for the first time, there are many resources available on the internet.

By Philip Stilchford

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