Japanese zazen is a meditation “without object”. It has very fine forms of mindfulness exercises, which helps greatly attain positive energy, especially for a person in burnout state. The article brings some main general concepts of this Buddhist tradition.
Zazen, a meditation “without object”
We usually search for relaxation and peace of mind, especially when we are stressed out or burned out. Meditation is one of the useful ways to reach this state.
There are many meditation methods. Some traditions (such as Plum Village of Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese zen master) cite poems or words to support attaining a meditative state. Others use visualization of images or colors (such as Tibetan schools).
Zazen, not always well-known, on the contrary, is a meditation “without object”. Its origin comes from the Japanese Soto Zen Buddhist practice.
The practitioner is encouraged to be in a state of letting go, with “no tension, no intention”. Zen masters often teach: “If thoughts come, let them come. If thoughts leave, let them go. Don’t worry about them”. The practitioner, therefore, does not have any specific intention to “attain” the meditative state. He or she sits simply and let go.
In zazen, the body is a reflection of a profound mind
In Zazen, sitting meditation is mixed with walking meditation. The practitioner sits in the zendo (meditation hall) for around 45 minutes, then moves up for a short period of walking meditation (kinhin).
Kinhin is a very slow walk normally bare feet. The practitioner is in a straight while relaxed position. Right hand upon left hand. Arms parallel to the floor. Elbow facing forward.
In zazen, the body is considered a reflection of a profound mind. Therefore, each and every position is meaningful.
“Sitting still, perfectly balanced, the spine stretched between earth and sky… Absorbed in this posture of awakening, without grasping or rejecting anything, naturally, unconsciously, we give freedom to all things” (Kanshoji monastery).
So you’ve learned about Japanese zazen, is a meditation “without object”. It has very fine forms of mindfulness exercises, which helps greatly attain positive energy and clarity. Would you give it a try?
Read more: Mindfulness meditation and yoga