Zen Meditation

In the world of global intimacy, Zen Meditation may be one of the few lifelines left for holding onto personal sanity.  Zen meditation is the practice of sitting in preparation of calming your body and mind and opening yourself up to discovering insight into the nature of your being. This is a mouthful but basically it means, as you sit in prescribed positions, and close your mind to thought and images and, after a period of time, your heart rate will slow, your breathing will become shallow, and you will pass into a reflective meditative state.

With the use of Zen Meditation, deliberate thought, contemplation, and reflection, you can create a synergy that connects all aspects of your being – the body, the mind and the soul. The energy needed to strengthen the synergy is accomplished through the practice of Zen Meditation.

In your practice of Zen Meditation, your mind will be only in the moment. You will not  be thinking about the past or the future.  You will not be thinking about how to get your work done or what you should have said to that guy who cut you off in the grocery line. You will be thinking thoughts like, “my nose is itching”, my leg hurts in this position,” the sun is beautiful”.

You are in the moment, only reacting to what is happening now. If you think about this, you are not thinking at all. You do not have thoughts. You do not have ruminations about things you should have done. You are not having reflections about your life.

If you are interested in starting to see what it is like to practice Zen Meditation, here are nine steps to get you started.

Name your breaths i.e., breathing in - breathing out

Pay attention to when your in and out breathes become deep, you will feel peaceful at this point

When you breath in, think about your body, when you breath out, relax each part of your body, one part at a time, starting at the shoulders

When you breath in, you calm your body parts that are known to you in that moment, when you breath out, you feel compassion for all of the needs of your body

Relax the facial muscles, one at a time, and you send a half-smile to all parts of the body

Tune in to your body and relax any muscles that are still tense

When you breath in, you think about joy, the joy of being alive, the joy of breathing, the joy of seeing, the joy of hearing

Go back to being with your in breath and your out breath so you are back in the present

Steady your sitting position as at this point, you are the master of your mind and body.

By Philip Stilchford