What is Zen meditation?
It is the sitting meditation in the traditional position of the lotus , practiced by the human being since prehistory. Zazen is not a theory, nor an idea, nor a knowledge that can be perceived with the brain. It is only a practice that changes our own spirit in a radical way .
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It means merging with the entire universe. Master Taisen Deshimaru, disciple and successor of the great master Kodo Sawaki, brought the practice of that zazen to Europe, thus planting the original seed in a new earth.
Zazen and Buddhism
Buddhism itself is a fruit of zazen. The legend says that before Buddha Shakyamuni there were already seven Buddhas, Buddhism refers to a time before him. Indeed, the position of zazen goes back to ancient times , as attested by numerous archaeological remains (see Zen and prehistory) , she is a fundamental treasure of humanity. Historical Buddhism was born from the zazen of the Buddha 2500 years ago and was transmitted from teachers to disciples from that time, throughout the world, without interruption.
ZEN AND THE WEST
Today, Zen exists in the West, although it can be stated that it has not yet been really appropriated by this culture. We continue to see it as something exotic and a little folkloristic, we believe it is only an image with Japanese or Chinese style. But what about the integration of our culture and even the new world culture? What will be the fruits that will emerge from this?
How to practice zazen
Sitting in the middle of the zafu (round cushion), they cross their legs in the lotus or half lotus position. If this is not possible, and the legs are crossed simply without placing the foot on the opposite thigh, it is still essential that the knees push the floor. The right spine, the chin entered and the neck stretched, the nose in the same vertical line as the navel, the earth is pushed with the knees and the sky with the head.
The left hand is placed on the right hand, the palms face the sky, the thumbs touch, forming a right line. The hands rest on the feet, the songs in contact with the abdomen. The shoulders are relaxed . The tip of the tongue touches the palate. The view is placed approximately one meter away on the ground without looking at anything in particular.
Zen breathing can not be compared to any other, it is very old, in Sanskrit it was called ‘anapanasati’, it can only arise from a correct posture. First of all it is about establishing a slow, strong and natural rhythm, based on a soft, long and deep expiration. The air is expelled slowly and silently through the nose , while the pressure due to expiration, lowers strongly to the belly. At the end of the exhalation, inspiration is naturally made. Teachers compare zen breath with the mooing of cows or with the expiration of a baby screaming newborn.
The attitude of the spirit
Sitting in zazen , we let the images, the thoughts, the mental constructions, that arise from the unconscious , pass like clouds through the sky – without opposing or holding on to them . Like the reflections in a mirror, the emanations of the subconscious pass and pass again and end up vanishing. And we reach the deep unconscious, without thought, beyond all thoughts (hishiryo), true purity.
This attitude of spirit arises naturally from a deep concentration in posture and breathing , and thus allows controlling mental activity, resulting in an improvement in cerebral circulation.