Zen Meditation Allows A Person To Focus On Truth
There is quite a bit of talk these days in the media about meditation and spiritual enlightenment. Some might even think it is a rather trendy thing to “be into,” yet it is doubtful that it will be one of those passing fads of the pop culture. The fact is that there are numerous methods of meditation, such as Zen meditation, that have been part of other cultures for generations, so it is not likely to be a passing craze, no matter how little Western culture truly understands it.
There are numerous meditation techniques that people who are interested and want to learn to meditate can choose from. While all forms of mediation have some commonalities, the techniques do differ based on what part of the world and what culture the particular practice is rooted in. Zen meditation has developed out of Zen Buddhism. It is also known as Zazen and incorporates various seated positions, special breathing techniques and chakras.
The discipline of Zen meditation is essentially focused on enabling the practitioner to live their daily lives in complete awareness of themselves and their surroundings. Through the practice of this meditation approach, people can escape from the “auto-pilot” existence that is so prevalent and which robs people of experiencing their lives fully.
When people fall into the trap of operating primarily on automatic pilot, they rarely notice all of the things that are happening around them; even within their own minds and hearts. This certainly can interfere with a person’s ability to be enlivened spiritually or to be on the path to spiritual development. Zen meditation can help to break the cycle of automatic living and help a person to engage more fully in their own life.
Through Zen meditations, people experience each moment of a day directly and with awareness and responsiveness. They consciously practice being aware of everything that they encounter and try to enliven their senses by paying attention to everything that they might hear, see, smell, feel and taste.
Another way of expressing this concept is by attempting to be completely and fully aware, while engaged in any activity, at any particular moment. Some people also call this, “living in the moment” or “living consciously.” The idea is to “become at one” with whatever they are currently engaged in doing.
Some examples of this would be: when eating, the practitioner is totally focused on the meal and their actions involved in eating; when they are engaged in a Zen mediation session, they stay concentrated on the reality of that moment and they do not allow their thoughts, their feelings, or their sensations to preoccupy or distract them; when they are engaged in work, they only work; when doing routine tasks such as brushing their teeth, they focus on that task and do not let their minds wander to think about other things.
While the Zen practitioner does not have to be engaged in meditation all day, every day, regular meditation practice helps to calm, center and focus the mind so that the person is able to focus and retain keen awareness. The Zen practice recognizes that all thoughts are a natural and beneficial function of the human mind and that thought should not be ignored, rejected or stopped. Instead, the practice allows wandering thoughts to be acknowledged then set to the side, keeping the mind from being carried away by anxieties, worries, fears and other discursive notions.
This method of meditation practice allows the person to enjoy a sense of liberation from the “pollution” of negative thoughts that can often cloud the mind and confuse thinking. Zen meditation helps to alleviate unnecessary suffering of the mind and allows the person to focus on truth, clarity and spiritual enlightenment.