A Beginner’s guide to Zazen Meditation – the Way of Zen.

Zazen is a type of meditation that is unique to the Zen Buddhists who practice the art of Zazen meditation daily. The first thing to remember is that you do not think about anything, and when you start, and thoughts come into our head, acknowledge then remove them.

This is the art of Zazen Meditation is the philosophy of Action. By practising Zazen meditation to link to the universe to ourselves. To start, you must place your hands in the praying “Gassho” position with the palms facing each other and the fingers straight together and not crossed. Bend Upwards towards God the divine life force and then forwards in salutation to the Universe and also to anyone who may be in the room.

The secret of this is to start , by sitting on a cushion,  comfortably in the Half Lotus position by sitting with your right leg crossed and your heal touching the front of your pelvis and the left leg is crossed in front.

It is important to keep the shoulders relaxed and level and to breathe in for a count of ten. Hold for a count of 5 then breath out for a count of ten.

Place your left hand with palm towards your stomach and your right hand over it in a loose clasped position with the thumbs touching each other and remember to keep your spine straight and relaxed.

Feel the gravitational pull from the base of your spine straight up to the top of your head as if there was an imaginary silver chord holding you up.

The Trick to this  is to sit and practise the posture and then the Zazen meditation will follow. Please keep eyes open naturally not closed.

The main emphasis is on natural breathing and stillness and feeling relaxed.

To sit and be still, and breath and as tension is removed  from your body, imagine tension being released from the top of your head, your face, down your chest , arms , hands  fingers through to your stomach, pelvis, thighs, knees, ankles  and toes.

This should be practised for 15 minutes daily, in a quiet space a sacred space that you keep for yourself. If you have trouble at the start with all sorts of thoughts coming in then think of the most beautiful rose, it can be any colour you like, and imagine smelling the rose and the sun shining on that rose and water drops falling on to it and cleansing it as it grows in the sunshine, this rose is representational of the love that the universe has for you.

The main purpose of Zazen or Zen mediation is to link to the Universe and become one with it again.

The action of Meditation is to sit and “just be”, the silence can be healing enough. If you cannot bear the silence then some relaxing personal music can help you further.

This can lead on to guided visualisations which can expand the mind energy and release unwanted tension and dis-ease in your body.

Written by Nadia 0606

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