Zen Philosophy is the Japanese form of Mahayana Buddhism developed in China and heavily influenced by Taoism. It is considered a ‘Way of Life’ that aims to achieve enlightenment (a state of oneness with the universe) with intuition and mediation.
Zen Philosophy views the world as a mind that has no grasping thoughts or feelings. This is the no-mind state of consciousness where thoughts and feelings come and go with a ‘leave no trace’ policy.
Moreover, Zen embraces a viewpoint that life is as it is, meaning that things happen and this is as it is and not what those things ‘could’ represent.
What are the benefits of Zen Philosophy?
The Zen way of life very much involves living in the moment and letting thoughts travel through the mind rather than being trapped within the mind to be churned over and over.
This freeing of mental processing helps to improve mental health and lift the state mind. This can reduce worry, stress and anxiety, lighten the mental load, clear thought processes and reduce internal negative dialog.
There are many upsides to this liberated state of mind. Improved sense of self, improved self-confidence, heightened creativity, stronger sense of awareness and even better will power are all benefits.
Physical health can also be impacted by this positive mindset and mediations. This includes reduced stress, reduced blood pressure, better pain management and there is also a knock-on effect for sleep, energy, stable mood and general wellbeing.
Aim to use your intuition and insights gained during mediations to steer you towards a happier, more connected and fulfilling life.
What does a typical Zen class look like?
These aim to empty and calm the mind, install a sense of relaxation and aid reflection. Wear comfortable clothing as you tend to sit cross legged in the lotus position for the meditations.
Typically, the class will start with breath work. Observing your breath, connecting to each breath and changing the way you breathe helps relax the body. You’ll then move on to the meditations and observing the mind for any thoughts, feelings and intuition.
How do I find a Zen Teacher that suits me?
There are lots of books and online resources that can help you build your knowledge about the Zen philosophy. Then you can easily apply these concepts to your lifestyle, thought processes and also your home environment.
There are also online Zen Meditations but you may find that joining a local class helps you hone your meditations skills and provides more guidance about the way to meditate from the class teacher.