The practice of Zen meditation essentially revolves around observation of your thoughts and how your mind and body operate. It's a practice different than most meditation, which is done generally for relaxation, deep breathing and stress relief. Zen meditation is used for deep-rooted problems, anxieties and questions about life that you don't necessarily have answers to. It's getting to the core of our problems instead of temporarily relieving the symptoms! You don't need to be a Buddhist to practice Zen meditation - you can simply want tranquility and peace of mind and perhaps a deeper connection to another faith you may practice! Below are 7 essential benefits of adopting the practice of Zen meditation.
1. Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety are natural parts of life. But don't let them rule your life, which can negatively impact every other area! Learn how to truly manage your stress and anxiety by emptying the mind of those intrusive and debilitating thoughts, and replacing them with the knowledge of whatever truth you're seeking, is freeing. That's a huge benefit of the practice of Zen meditation.
2. Clarity of Mind
We all struggle with clouded minds and busy-ness of thoughts. In our culture our minds run turbo speed in order to keep up with the business of life! But that also means clarity of thought and the ability to make wise choices are impaired. With practice, Zen meditation can limit the number of intrusive thoughts that filter in during meditation. It can also allow mental clarity to replace the fogginess of our thoughts.
3. Helps Chronic Depression
Many, many people are diagnosed with chronic depression daily. Most people are prescribed various antidepressants to combat it and often become dependent on them or suffer side effects. Depression is usually the result of chronic anxiety and stress, which is caused by factors either unknown or known to us. With deep meditation and focus, it's possible to bring to the surface the true reasons behind chronic depression.
4. Better Sleep
Clarity of mind and calmness of body and spirit means more restful sleep at night. Because meditation can uncover hidden awareness about ourselves, what we believe, and how we operate and think, we can be more at ease at night, when some questions are answered or problems relieved. With senses heightened after a meditation session, perhaps you now realize that your stresses weren't really that significant. Or maybe it's as simple as feeling deeply happy and peaceful. Whatever it may be, meditation allows for better rest!
5. Higher Self-Confidence and Trust
When more energy is poured out from a clear and focused mind, you're able to achieve greater responsibilities with more diligence. This in turn allows for greater self-confidence and trust in your ability to make decisions wisely and perform tasks more efficiently! Never underestimate the power of a focused and clear mind. Self-confidence and trust in self are also boosted when we learn more about who we are on a deeper level!
6. Strengthens Relationships
Knowing more deeply about yourself and how you operate and think on a daily basis is key for bettering relationships! This is because you're more keenly aware of why you behave certain ways and are able to decipher why others think and behave certain ways! It's all about understanding the root cause of issues and how to communicate well.
7. Strengthens Your Faith
Because Zen meditation is such a deep form of meditation, with its sitting posture, breathing, counting, and thoughts (or lack thereof), it's a great way to go deeper with your faith and religious beliefs. Use it as a time to allow God to speak, to pray deep from your soul, or to meditate on a scripture or religious saying!
The practice of Zen meditation is traditionally done by Buddhists, but many people practice it, Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. It has many beneficial aspects- mind, body and spirit! Basically it consists of a sitting posture with focus on rhythmic breathing. It's not rigid in practice, you can allow thoughts to enter and with practice, they will become less frequent! I'm curious to know if any of you have ever practiced or are practicing Zen meditation and what experiences/benefits have you gained?