If you have ever heard someone say “let’s get our Zen on” and wondered how to do it yourself, now is the time. Zen meditation is all about the present moment, so there is literally no better time than now to drop everything, pick up a meditation cushion, and learn to meditate.
Zen meditation has its origins in 7th century China and it spread around Asia and now globally from there. The word Zen itself means “concentration” and refers to its concentration technique employed during the meditation practice. With Buddhist origins, it can be practiced by anyone- beginners or seasoned meditators alike.
The practice of Zen meditation has many benefits, from focusing the mind to alleviating symptoms of depression. Because this style of meditation is practiced sitting upright, choosing a comfortable and quality cushion to sit on is imperative. We love the crescent meditation cushion here.
Find a quiet and relaxing space for your meditation. After finding your cushion and comfortable sitting position, the meditation begins with a focus on the breath. This is done first by cultivating awareness of breath in the belly as you inhale and exhale through the nose.
Zen-style of meditation is unique that you can leave your eyes open if you like. Choose which you wish to practice before you sit down to meditate. If you decide to meditate with the eyes open, you have to focus them on a single point. Many people like to look at the tip of the nose or a spot on the floor. You can also practice with the eyes half-closed or shut all the way.
When your mind gets distracted in the beginning, because it will, just gently redirect yourself back to your breath. Start with a few minutes and a timer and over time you will be able to meditate for a longer time.
Don’t expect yourself to find a perfect quiet space inside your mind right away. It takes time to find those spaces between the thoughts- perhaps this is the Zen-like quality referred to when we say we want to be more Zen in our daily lives more peaceful and freer. So, don’t fight yourself! With time, it gets easier.
Zen meditation is an excellent practice to teach you how to redirect your thoughts. Even the most experienced meditators will still need to use the technique of redirection. Sometimes it can be uncomfortable to notice what comes up at first, as when you are sitting you just simply observe yourself. You can then begin to notice the true nature of your mind and body. It is also a great practice to let go of any and all thoughts and even emotions in your mindstream. If you feel that you are lacking insight into your life, Zen meditation can provide a logical foundation for you.
Find your perfect meditation cushion here to support your practice. For those who want an organic cushion, check out our buckwheat meditation cushion.