Zen Meditation | The Way of Zen
Zen meditation, also known as Zazen, is a meditation technique rooted in Buddhist psychology. The goal of Zen meditation is to regulate attention. It’s sometimes referred to as a practice that involves “thinking about not thinking.”
''Our life is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!''— Henry David Thoreau
by Michael Corthell
My goal in realizing a competent understanding of the world and the Universe around me is to simplify things as I see fit. It is for my benefit but if it helps others get a more precise picture of how this glorious living being we call the Universe or God operates, all the better, but please understand I am not telling anyone they should believe as I do. I simply ask that you consider what I say and my way of understanding reality.
First up in the series of 'What I Believe' is my flavor of Zen meditation. What my goal is and how I practice.
My primary goal in practicing Zen meditation is the total relaxation of mind and body which allows me to stop the crosstalk that goes on in my mind which in turn allows me to come into direct contact or communion with the infinite creative intelligence or God. The secondary goal is to become more aware of preconceived notions and gain insight into myself.
How I Meditate
- I lie flat on my back. I use a pillow
- I take 4 or 5 deep breaths and allow my body to relax and sink into the bed or couch.
- I visualize a waveform exactly like the one pictured above.
- I think, "Up, Down" about 4 or 5 times.
- I then stop the dialogue and only picture the wave going up and down.
- After about 1 minute, I switch my wave image to a vision of the surface of the ocean like the header photo at the top of this page labeled Meditation View).
- I hold this image of the gently rolling ocean surface indefinitely.
In my experience just after step #7 one of two things will occur; either I will sleep or I will enter a hypnotic trance; one where I am consciously aware of all ambient sounds in my environment but I am not thinking in words, only experiencing my outer world. Either way, the result is the same. At the end of 20 to 30 minutes, I am 'back' refreshed, focused, and fully engaged.
I meditate 3 times a day; just after I take my shower in the morning; late afternoon just before supper, and when I go to bed in the evening.
This is the way I approach the meditative state. I had been meditating off and on since my college days, soon after discovering the writings of Alan Watts but until earlier this year I had not experienced the astounding benefits of this simple practice.
It is my sincere hope that you seek out the very real benefits associated with Zen.
Below I've included the complete audiobook, ''The Way of Zen'' by Alan Watts which will give you some real depth regarding the practice. I highly recommend him as a resource.
Be well, my friends!