How to Practice Zazen (Zen Meditation)



Jules Shuzen Harris teaches Zazen, the meditation observe on the coronary heart of Zen Buddhism.

Illustrations by Tomi Um.

What’s Zazen?

There are numerous types of meditation that give you the chance to domesticate stillness and open up house in your life. One such kind, zazen, has each outward and inward directions in methods to interact your consciousness within the fast, uninterpreted expertise of the current second. Zazen is being awake however letting go, experiencing your current second consciousness with out thought or story.

As a central type of meditation in Zen Buddhism, zazen is often coupled with research and educating to assist develop larger readability in our observe. Zazen typically features a particular observe, resembling counting your breaths, to focus your consideration and develop your powers of focus.

Advantages of Zazen

There was quite a lot of consideration lately on the numerous sensible advantages of meditation. It reduces stress, lowers blood stress, and is efficient in working with despair, anxiousness, and anger. These are all good causes to meditate, however finally Buddhists observe zazen and different meditations to comprehend what Buddhism calls our true nature, which is past self-identity with its self-imposed limitations. From a Buddhist perspective, our fundamental drawback is attachment to our deluded thought of who we’re, and what we have to do to take care of this delusion.

To make actual progress in zazen, we should make a real dedication to observe. We might not acknowledge dramatic adjustments in our lives straight away, however that’s okay. One side of referring to our observe is to strategy it with a steadiness of effort and endurance. To seek out that which is past our concepts of self, we have to interact in our personal expertise of observe. Books and articles, nonetheless nicely written, are not any substitute.

Find out how to Follow Zazen

You must ideally sit within the morning, beginning with ten minutes a day for the primary week. As your observe develops, step by step work as much as 20-Half-hour a day. Listed below are some easy directions to get you began:


Discover a quiet house to take a seat. It might assist to create an uncluttered house, freed from as many distractions as potential. Working to create an outwardly clear, calm house displays our look after our observe and likewise helps the inside elements of our zazen. A zabuton (gentle mat) and zafu (cushion) will supply help for upright sitting.

A zabuton (soft mat) and zafu (cushion) will offer support for zazen (zen meditation)


Give cautious consideration to your physique and posture. In case you are simply beginning out, attempt numerous other ways to take a seat with the intention to discover one which’s snug for you. There are a number of choices. Sit with each legs crossed so every leg rests on the alternative thigh (full lotus); sit with one leg resting over the alternative calf (half lotus); sit in your knees together with your legs folded below you, straddling a cushion like a saddle; sit on a low bench together with your legs tucked below the bench; or sit in a straight-back chair.


The sitting place that works finest for you’ll rely partly in your flexibility. Stretching prior to every sitting will assist alleviate tightness and discomfort. As your meditation observe evolves, the ache you could expertise on the outset will turn into much less of a problem. Although there could also be some discomfort because the limbs stretch in unfamiliar methods, step by step the physique adjusts.

Find a comfortable sitting position for zazen (zen meditation)


No matter place you select, your again and head needs to be erect. Your ears ought to line up together with your shoulders and your chin needs to be barely tucked in. Sit quietly together with your eyes open and unfocused. Decrease your gaze to a 45-degree angle. Carry your consideration to your respiratory. First, inhale and exhale via your mouth whereas rocking proper to left 3 times. Carry your palms collectively forming a zazen mudra (left hand resting on proper hand with the palms going through up and the guidelines of the thumbs simply touching).

Zazen (zen meditation) requires you to focus on your breath


Now you might be prepared to focus on your breath. Give attention to the inhale and rely one, then give attention to the exhale and rely two. Inhale once more, counting three, and exhale once more, counting 4. The purpose is to get to a rely of ten with out ideas crossing your thoughts. If ideas come up, begin over at one. Breathe via your nostril in a pure, unforced rhythm.


Chorus from making an attempt to cease your considering—let it cease by itself. When a thought comes into your thoughts, let it are available and let it exit. Your thoughts will start to relax. Nothing comes from outdoors of thoughts. The thoughts consists of all the things; that is the true understanding of the thoughts.

Your thoughts follows your respiratory. If you are following the breath, drop the notion of “I’m respiratory.” No thoughts, no physique—merely pay attention to the second of respiratory. Drop the concepts of time and house, physique and thoughts, and simply “be” sitting.

How to Meditate special edition ad


Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here