Zen meditation also known as Zazen is a form of meditation which is unique to Zen Buddhism and rests at the heart of the practice. Zen is actually the Japanese word for meditation with Zen Buddhists actually being meditation Buddhists. To start practicing this form of meditation there are a number of steps that you need to take.


Get Comfortable

Before you start meditating you need to ensure that you will be comfortable for a prolonged period of time. Most Zazen practitioners will use a zafu or small pillow to rest on. However, this is optional because it will depend on where you are and where you are going to be meditating.

Getting Into Position

Zazen literally translates into seated meditation which shows how important your meditation position is. There are a number of different positions that can be used and you need to choose the one that is the most comfortable for you. The simplest position is the Burmese position where you cross your legs and rest both knees flat on the ground. Your one ankle should be in front of the other, not on top.

The half lotus position is created by placing the left foot on the right thigh and the right leg being tucked under the left thigh. The full lotus position is considered the most stable position and is achieved by placing each foot on the opposite thigh. This position can be hard to achieve at first and many people find it painful. If the pain persists it is recommended that you go to the doctor for advice.

The kneeling position is achieved by kneeling with your hips resting on your ankles. The chair position is used if you need to sit in a chair while you meditate. You will need to sit comfortably on the chair, but keep your back straight. The standing position is ideal for people who are unable to sit for prolonged periods of time. You will stand with your heels slightly together with your hands on your stomach without locking your knees.

Focus On Your Breathing

Once you are in position you can start meditating. To do this you need to start clearing your mind by focusing on your breathing. Some people recommend closing your eyes as it makes it easier to focus, but you can keep your eyes open if you want to. You need to take note of your inhales and exhales so that you relax your body in tune with your breathing.

Count Your Breathing

Once you have focused on your breathing you need to count your inhales and exhales until you reach ten. If your mind starts to wander, which it will at the start, you should rid yourself of the thought and start counting from one again. You need to repeat this until you are able to reach ten without any distractions.

Once you reach ten you need to start counting your inhales and exhales as one breath and start the process again.

Eventually, you should be able to concentrate on your breathing without having to count.

Courtesy of: W. (2017, March 07). How to Begin Zen Meditation (Zazen). Retrieved March 07, 2017, from http://www.wikihow.com/Begin-Zen-Meditation-(Zazen)

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