Zen is growing in popularity in the West and the same holds true for energie management, but what is the heart of zen? That’s a tricky question, isn’t it?
I think most of us agree that it can’t be energiemanagement And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance or zen influenced interior design, no matter how inspiring it may be. There must be more to it.
Zen took root in Japan well over a thousand years ago and whatever you find in department stores today are merely expressions of zen culture. Anyone who has lived and meditated in zen monasteries have a different idea of what zen is and isn’t.
Let’s take a look from inside…
Meditating In Zen Temples
Zen temples maintain a rather high level of discipline during stress management practice. The meditators sit in straight lines and face the walls while doing their best to keep their backs perfectly upright and the chins slightly tucked in.
The body posture plays a central role in zen meditation, because an erect spine allows mental energy to flow more naturally than one that isn’t straight. And meditation does generate a lot of mental energy which in turn makes it easier to mediate.
In other Buddhist traditions such as in Sri Lanka or Tibet there is less of an emphasis on sitting in straight lines and cultivating the perfect meditation posture.
Anyhow, whenever a meditator in a zen temple takes on a sloppy posture she will get smacked with a wooden stick on the left and right shoulders. To an outsider it may look like downright punishment while meditators view it as a form of encouragement.
In zen, meditation is called zazen which is practiced in two separate modes, namely are sitting and walking.
That is not unique to zazen, though. It’s been known for thousands of years that sitting meditation boosts concentration while walking meditation generates a lot of mental energy.
By alternating between the two, the meditator can maintain a sound balance between the level of mental energy and concentration, which makes it easier to meditate. One could say that mental energy fuels concentration.
So, whenever you feel that your meditation is not flowing or you find it hard to concentrate, change from sitting to walking meditation. In addition, alternating between the two modes eases any physical aches and pains.
In zazen, the walking interval may only be 15-minutes long followed by 45 minutes of sitting meditation. In other Buddhist traditions there is generally a 50/50 split between sitting and walking meditation.
One could say that zen has an emphasis on sitting meditation which results in more concentration.
So far, we haven’t touched on what I consider the power of zen meditation. The above points out certain differences between zen and other Buddhist traditions, but let’s move on to the heart of the matter.
Zen Group Practice
There is a definite emphasis on group practice in zen that you don’t find in other Buddhist traditions. Both sitting and walking meditation are done in a group.
By practicing sitting and walking meditation in a group, strong mental energy and concentration build up. That takes the practice to a higher level and also makes it easier to meditate.
In zen temples the meditators also sit close together in order to keep the energy concentrated, which I’ve never seen in other Buddhist traditions.
The beauty of meditating with others, especially experienced meditators, is that their presence boost your practice! So, don’t only meditate alone at home, but take advantage of the benefits of group https://www.bloombay.eu/.