What exactly is Zen meditation? And why is this meditation technique associated with Buddhists?
Zen meditation is not unlike any other forms and methods of meditation. However, some view meditation as a spiritual practice to achieve self-awareness. Its association with Buddhists is not by chance. Actually, Zen Buddhists are known as Meditation Buddhists. Zazen, The heart of the Zen meditation is defined as the study of one’s self. Buddhists believe that to study the Buddha Way means to study one’s self.
A Japanese Buddhist founded the San Francisco Zen Center. He was responsible in bringing and propagating the practice of Zen meditation in the Western parts. His constant practice has influenced others, especially the youth westerners to follow him. This Japanese Buddhist shared his knowledge and beliefs on how to improve their lives without emphasis on Buddhism as a religion, even if his training were from the Soto school of Zen Buddhism in Japan.
The Soto Zen meditation teachings declare that all of us are Buddhas. True human nature is just synonym to Buddha nature. Buddha means “an awakened one”. It further states that a Buddha is someone who sees things as they really are, without any interference to how we want to see it.
Most people have turned to Zen meditation or other techniques of meditation to change their lives. Some wants to stop their depression, cure their problems or take away their stress. Some have even resorted to Zen meditation to get rid of their vices like smoking. However, Buddha doesn’t agree. Allegedly, the fact that we are all Buddha means that we are merely practicing Zen meditation as a self-expression of our true nature. Eversince we are born, we have always been challenged with the thought that there is still something that we need that we don’t have. By entertaining these thoughts, we are in fact ignoring our inner completeness. Zen meditation just wants to point out that while life is full of disappointments and constant struggles, happiness and comfort are still there to be found. For those who take this statement literally, entering a monastery would be the best way to find joy. But Zen meditation is actually just giving time to yourself. It may not as easy as going for a long drive or looking at the stars at night, but those can be a good start.
Zen meditation claims that if done with a strong conviction and unwavering commitment it will help people overcome their addiction to vices, help them recover, and live better lives. As with some other meditation techniques, be open to the fact that Zen meditation may or may not work best for you.