What is the essence of Zen

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General meditation practices can be broadly classified into two types - concentration oriented and insight oriented. Some of the examples of concentration based practices are chanting mantras, focusing the gaze on an object or flame or focusing on the breath. Zen-based meditation usually form the second group wherein the emphasis is more on becoming aware of the sensations, thoughts, actions, emotions, and so on without actually getting involved or analyzing them. In other words, you become a witness to things that is happening in and around you.

To illustrate the essence of Zen meditation, read this story:

After ten years of apprenticeship, Tenno achieved the rank of Zen teacher. One rainy day, he went to visit the famous master Nan-in. When he walked in, the master greeted him with a question, "Did you leave your wooden clogs and umbrella on the porch?" "Yes," Tenno replied.

"Tell me," the master continued, "did you place your umbrella to the left of your shoes, or to the right?"

Tenno did not know the answer, and realized that he had not yet attained full awareness. So he became Nan-in's apprentice and studied under him for ten more years.

No matter which method you choose, the end goal is the same - to still the mind and attain absolute emptiness. I personally find the Zen technique more likeable and relaxing. One reason is because it does not lay down rules - do this, do that. I hate following rules and when practicing Zen meditation, I can just be myself.

Q1. I have read a little about the essence of Buddhism as a whole. But can you please tell me the actual essence of Zen Buddhism?

A. The essence of Zen is its freedom. Not freedom from, but freedom in the world and the law of causation.

Q2. How do you feel when people are determined to say Buddha is the god of Buddhism?

A. I say that the Buddha (literally, the Awake, the Aware, the Enlightened) was a human being. He saw, after great and long struggle, the cause of and conditions for suffering, and so how to end it. If he weren't "just" human, but some kind of deity, then there would be no hope for us "mere" humans to follow his example, and so Buddhism would make no sense.

Q3. The definition of Zen is to sit in meditation. Would you say there is more to this word? If so, what would you add to this definition?

A. It's zazen that is sitting meditation. "Za" means to sit. The controlled conditions of zazen allow you to get free of things like fear, rage and hate and more subtle things like self-versus-other and tension-versus-inattention. But to carry that freedom out into your whole life, so you have imperturbable peace of mind, alertness and awareness, come what may and whatever you're doing, is "a whole other ball game". Zazen is the Zen you can easily see. Zen itself you are aware of in a more subtle way.

Q4. What is the difference between Buddhism and Zen?
Keep in mind that you can practice Zen without having to be a Buddhist. You don't have to join the religion aspect of Zen, but you can get involved in the interest of fining inner light. You'll find that there is really no difference to Buddhism and Zen; however, Zen is the physical action of Buddhism. Zen is a Buddhist's version of prayer. You can practice Zen alone in your home as a way for you to keep control of your life or find discipline in your life. You can also participate in Zen as a member of a Buddhist group. You will find that you can practice Zen alone, or you can practice it with the participation in Buddhism.

There are a lot of differences between Zen and Buddhism, but you have to realize that the two go hand in hand. You practice Zen as part of the religion, but you can also use Zen as a way to control yourself or find the answers for many of your questions. You'll need to consider that when it comes to Buddhism you need to practice Zen as a way for you to find your enlightenment. It's like practicing prayer.

When it comes to Buddha, this is something that has been practiced for years and year and it has become almost a culture itself. It is very important that you understand that this particular religion has a lot to offer. You'll need to keep in mind that when you join the Buddhism community you will need to learn to embrace all of it. You'll need to do everything you can to really get the full picture.

As for Zen, you'll find that it is the meditation prayer. You'll need to consider the positions that you take in order to meditate is as serious as to what you wear for Sunday Mass. It is very important that you start off in the right position so that you can have your inner light flow. You will need to also try to focus on meditation even when it is not the best time for you. A lot of people do not turn to meditation when they really need it. It should be used for strength and you should meditate anytime that you feel overwhelmed. You'll want to consider that there are a lot of benefits to practicing both Zen and Buddhism, but you don't have to feel pressured to do both.

When you are meditating or using Zen, you'll need to consider where your body is and also how you are breathing. Your breathing will help you to calm your nerves while you should be able to find spiritual highs through Buddhism. You'll find that there are a lot of perks to being a Zen Buddhist, but you'll also want to take inconsideration that your religion is just fine. You don't find yourself by picking a new religion; however, you can switch over if it is something that you feel very passionate about. The religion that you choose should be something that you can turn to and find emotional support.

Once you are able to find a good Zen teacher you can look further into the religion aspects and also into the benefits of Buddha. You don't want to put a lot of pressure on yourself, but you'll find that with the knowledge, you'll become more powerful. You will be able to feel better about yourself and about your life in general when you take it a step at time. You'll be able to discover a whole new world when it comes to Zen teachings and training.

Changing your life with Zen 

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There are so many ways that you can change your life, but you have to want to change. You have to have the drive and the desire to change in order to keep yourself going on the right path. Keep in mind that Zen is not easy and neither is change. Change is hard to accept and it is also hard to try to do. You have to look deep inside yourself in order to change your life. You need to find a reason why you are in need of change and figure out why you want to change; because there is no way that you'll be able to continue with your life the way that you are going. You need to practice Zen with an open mind and you need to listen to yourself. When you begin to meditate you are going to find the answers that you seek. It is up to you to take the knowledge and listen to yourself while using the knowledge to keep yourself going strong. When it comes to meditation, you'll find that there are many feelings that you'll have, but the key is to find peace. Once you have found your peace you are able to live with Zen.

The first thing that you'll want to do is figure out what it is that you want to change. You may want to change things that you have going on with your family or friends. You'll also want to look at your own character and even your own identity as to what it is that you want to change.  You'll want to go over yourself with a fine toothcomb. You'll need to also look inside yourself as it what it is that you want to be. If you are able to get yourself on the right track, then you'll be able to take to the change appropriately.   You'll wan to consider that there are many setbacks that you'll have to deal with, however, are you ready to take over your life and take back some of the control? There are a lot of things that you'll have to consider when trying to change.

Secondly, you have to ask yourself how much change can you handle at one time. You may want to change your home, your job, your mate, and so on. How much change can you take at once? Some people need to achieve their change in small steps, while others feel the need to change everything at once. Keep in mind that you don't want to overload yourself with change. You have to have someone to fall back on. You'll need to take yourself inconsideration, but you also need to consider many other things. You'll wan to consider the stress that you will be under to change from others. You can't make promises to change to those who you love if you have no intentions of changing. Keep in mind that what you do will not only affect yourself, but it will affect others.

Something that you may want to achieve is inner peace. Keep in mind that you can achieve peace and serenity with Zen training.  When you use Zen you are going to find that answers that you are searching for. You will also find that Zen will put you back in touch with yourself. You will find all the answers that you seek. You'll want to consider that Zen can allow you to see changes in yourself immediately. You'll need to practice Zen as much as possible and on a regular basis in order to see the changes.

When you are using Zen to change yourself, you need to consider that this is not an easy battle. You'll need to consider that Zen will begin to make you feel bolder and you'll have the strength to change the things that you feel that you just can't change. Also, you'll want to keep in mind that there are many other things that you'll have to consider. Not only will you want to use Zen to help change yourself, but also accept the many things that you cannot change. You'll want to make sure that you use Zen training for positive change, not negative goals. It is very important that you set goals for yourself and that you also care enough about yourself to keep things positive. Zen will help you find all the answers that you are looking for, but you need to be open to the answers that you get. 

Why understanding Zen can be important if you are depressed 

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Depression is something that so many people deal with all the time.  It can be a very big problem if it is left untreated.  Depression can also come in so many different forms.  It is going to depend on the person and how they are affected by all that depression can do to them.  Some people have to have extension treatment for their depression. Many do not realize that Zen can be a very important part of the healing process for depression.
Many women and men will experience depression an all that it can do to them. It will all depend on the hormone levels that the person's body is going through at the time of their depression.  Buddhism and Zen are going to go hand in had to be a good approach to the depression problem that many are facing today.  This is going to be a different point of view and something new for a person to try and get their life back on the high note that it once was on.
Being able to see the good in Zen can help a person understand their depression and get through it the way that they have intended on doing.  One of the most interesting aspects of Zen is that they can feel good about their body and their soul when they are practicing this great new form of treatment and all that it helps with.  Zen can also help in the other areas where many people may have issues and are not sure how to address them. 
Zen is a great way of relaxing the mind and the body and letting it take control over your self confidence. With the help of Zen you can have self confidence and be a better and happier person inside and out.  Practicing Zen is something that you can do at any time or place in your life.  You can take a few minutes out of your busy day and learn how to be a better and more excited person. It is going to help kick the depression out of the body.  You are releasing the bad energy and letting the good back in.  Zen is an amazing and great way to bring joy and peace back where it belongs in you.
You do not have to take drugs all the time to make your depression go away. Having your life's happiness dependant on a pill everyday is not how you want to live.  You need to have the freedom and the will to make life just as you want it to be without the worry of depression setting back in for any reason. Zen is a great tool to use in times when you are not sure of what to do or how to react to certain problems.  With Zen you can create a better and more enjoyable way of living for you and those that are around you.
Changing the mood that you are in is important. You need to be persistent and make sure that you have all that you need to make sure you are not feeling down about yourself.  With the powers of Zen you will be able to motivate your body and your soul to be more relaxed. This in return will give you the want and the need to find more in your life.  Doing Zen everyday is something that you are going to want to do and you will do whatever it takes to find the time to make it happen. 
Zen is something that you can share with others too. You may want to bring in your family or friends to practice this special form of treatment.  With Zen you do not have to worry about depression ever being a problem again.  This great way of thinking and meditation is one way to bring the good out in you and that entire are around you.  Do not be afraid to give it a try especially if you are looking to remove the toxins out of your body and be a happier person and more excited about that entire life can give. 

How to Change Your Mood with Zen

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Something that a lot of people don't realize is that you can change your feelings when you work with Zen. You'll need to consider that when you use your mind, you'll be able to change anything. When you want to change your mood, all you have to do is work hard and finds discipline in yourself. The key is to find the discipline. You may end up finding out that you are unable to make yourself want to be happier. Sometimes when the human mind overloads with thoughts and worries it will melt down.

You'll need to consider the fact that your mind needs to be cleansed. You need to leave behind some of your baggage and also learn how to move on from some of your baggage. You'll need to keep in mind that there are a lot of different reasons why you may be a little depressed right now, but you have to get to the bottom of things before you are able to move on. You'll also want to consider that there are many reasons why you'll be manic. Manic is a stage of depression where you have an extreme high. With the help of exercise, eating right, and the use of Zen, you'll be able to control your moods and you'll be able to become a better-adjusted person.

When you are thinking about using Zen as a mood controller you'll need to make sure that you stay away from drugs and alcohol. When it comes to drugs and alcohol, you'll find that there will change your mood. Also, it's not safe for you to meditate while under the influence. You'll also want to make sure that you mellow out before you start your Zen regiment. Often when you are overwhelmed with feelings like anger, you are unable to really focus on the meditation.

You will need to give yourself just five or ten minutes in a quite space. You'll need to keep in mind that your body position is very important. You'll need to make sure that you are not feeling any type of discomfort. You'll need to keep in mind that also you'll be able to focus better when you accept the noises around you. You do not need to keep your space completely silent. Often people feel the need to have their meditation space silent, but you need to accept the noises from pets, family members, and neighbors. You'll need to be comfortable, and you can always block out the sounds that you dislike.

Overtime you will be able to use meditation practice to help your mood controls, but you'll also find that meditation will also help you to regulate your energy levels. This is what will also keep you feeling better and even refreshed. You'll need to keep in mind that there are many ways that you can keep yourself on track with your life, but you need to control meditation and Zen training because it will have more benefits than any other thing that you could do for yourself.

 When it comes to Zen training, you'll find that there are many other things that you'll have to do. You'll need to keep in mind that you are no longer stuck with your current life. People can change. You'll need to find the appropriate displace in order to push yourself forward. You'll want to make sure that you also get the appropriate amount of sleep and eat well while using Zen. You need to keep the negativity away from you. In order to keep the negativity at bay you'll need to keep yourself going strong. Zen training can definitely help you with your mood issues and also make you feel stronger in general.

What use can you make of Zen Practice? 
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A lot of people feel that if they practice Zen then there are better people, but this is not true at all. You'll find that your mind can be filled with thoughts, worries, and feelings. It can be very difficult for others to handle, but life is filled with tests at times. If you really want to prove yourself, then you need to get a good hold of things like rage, emotions, and anxiety or else you'll never be able to overcome your obstacles and find happiness. With Zen, it can help you change your life. Change is not easy to do and it's even harder to accept. Instead of having resistance you may want to accept your demons and accept that you have to change. Change is not always a bad thing. You can use Zen as a way for you to clean up from drugs, quit drinking, quit smoking, and even leave behind a whole life. You'll find that Zen isn't easy at all. You have to have discipline and you have to be determined too.  People have been using Zen for thousands of years to change. It's hard to change, but you'll find support and comfort in medication. Of course Zen doesn't work for everyone and not everyone can accept Zen as a resource. You need to go with your gut feeling and if you don't think that Zen is going to help you, then you'll need seek out other means of control.

The first step that you'll need to do in order to start using Zen is to give yourself a resolution to quit or give something up. You'll find that there are many people who will use Zen to lay off the drugs, but it is also nice to use Zen for personal gain. For example, your resolution may be to get out of your current relationship and work harder to be happier. Then every time you miss that person you just start using meditation and it will allow you to find strength. You will want to keep in mind that it can help your change your life, but you have to have the drive to want to change.

When you find yourself wanting to give up on your resolution you need to build your strength. Basically, you need to get away from all the thoughts and comments that make you feel weak by leaving the room or even the entire situation. Calm yourself down in a room that has nothing to distract you. You'll want to consider that there are times where you just need to have a piece of chocolate. Instead of eating it, you'll sit down and get into your comfortable position and begin to focus on your breathing techniques. Your breathing technique is very important, because it is what will distract you.

The whole point to Zen training is learning how to take you from destructive situations and making it a positive situation. Zen training is learning how to control yourself when there is no control in your life. You will need to consider that there are a lot of people who may bring you down. You will also want to keep in mind that there is a lot of need discipline needed. You need to stay focused on being a lighter and positive person. If you can get rid of some of the destruction like drugs or alcohol, then you'll be a better person. If you need to end some friendships or relationships, then so be it. However, you need to recognize that they are ruining your opportunities. If you really want to be a better person, then you'll need to do whatever you can to give yourself a real chance. That means you'll have to accept change in yourself.

Just starting off 

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When it comes to Zen, you'll find that there are a lot of points to it and also there are a lot of exercises that you can do to keep yourself filled with serenity. You'll find that breathing is the first big thing. You'll notice that it's nice to have something that you can control when the madness breaks out. You'll find that there are many ways to achieve peace and happiness, but it begins with your breathing.

You'll need to know how to breathe properly in order to meditate correctly. You'll also find that your mind will begin to allow your breathing to take over your mind and thoughts, until you are able to regain control. You'll be able to feel like a weight has been lifted. You'll also find that your whole body will begin to feel lighter. You'll want to keep in mind that your breathing is the most important part of practicing Zen. You'll need to do something for yourself when it comes to finding control. When life begins to bring you down, you may begin to feel helpless. Instead of letting the negativity take control, you'll need to take control of yourself by learning how to breathe in a manner that will allow the negativity to disappear. Keep in mind that the negativity is what makes you feel tired and worn out. You may want to take this time and learn how to control yourself.

A lot of people have a hard time dealing with the stress that life presents, but if you follow some of the following tips you'll be able to use Zen to improve your life. First, you need to escape from the madness. This may mean that you leave the office, leave the room, or eve go to your favorite place. You'll want to get away from it all. Then you simply need to sit down or stand still. Be completely quite and then focus on your breathing. You may want to count or you may just want to focus on a breathing pattern. Once you focus on your breathing you'll be able to clear your mind. Then you'll be able to focus on yourself.

If you keep practicing your breathing methods, you'll be able to use your breathing control as a way to ground yourself. You'll find that there are many times where you'll need to think about being some where else, but over all, you'll need to learn how to control yourself from the inside, out. You'll need to consider taking some breathing classes and other personal enrichment courses so that you can manage your stress and learn how to take care and control yourself. Once you learn how to walk away from stressful situations and deal with them by controlling your breathing or by doing breathing exercises you'll be able to get a firm grip on yourself.

You'll find that it can be quite difficult for you to get use to your breathing exercises, but you'll feel better knowing that there is something that you can do to help relieve your stress and pains. It is very important, for your physical health and mental heath, that you learn how to become a better person through the art of Zen and also take back some of the control by using Zen to improve your life.

Zen and breathing techniques have been used for centuries as a way for you to gain control over yourself and feel better about some of the control that you lack. You'll find that when it comes to breathing techniques you'll be able to let go of the things that you cannot change and become empowered to the change the things that you can.

An introduction into Zen training
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When it comes to Zen, you have to understand that this is a time where you will need to think about yourself. Zen has a lot of benefits and the training can be a lot different than what you are use to, but you should first understand what Zen is exactly. You will need to understand that it has a religious aspect, as well as, as a way for you to discover yourself. A lot of people use Zen training for many different reasons, but you'll need to try Zen and figure out what it brings to you.

Zen is a part of the Japanese culture and it is a direct link to Buddhism. A lot of people have studied Zen as part of their learning and schooling, but when it comes to Zen in America, this is something relatively new. You will find that once you get into the training this is something that you use to help you out of the difficult situations. You'll want to keep in mind that there are many ways and reasons to use Zen in you life that you may become overwhelmed with it all.

If you are interested in learning more about Zen and get the training for Zen, then you'll want to keep in mind that there are many institutions that teach it throughout America. You may want to check out some of the local yoga classes and instructors, but also even some of the martial art instructors. If they don't teach others about Zen, then you will be able to find someone who does through these instructors.

When you get your Zen training you will be able to find answers within yourself. You will be able to give up things like addiction and find something to believe in yourself. You'll want to keep in mind that there are many positive aspects to learning Zen, but with the meditations, you'll find that it's not as easy as you would think. There are many teachings and there are many depths of the practice. You will notice that there is an ever-learning aspect to Zen, but the more you try, the more you will benefit from the training.

The instruction of Zen will place an emphasis on your new awakening. Basically, this is where you discover truly what lies within and also what you are capable of doing for yourself. Many people who are addicted will use Zen to help them over come some of their issues and attachments to drugs. This is because it allows you to find inner strength. It will allow you to figure yourself out. You'll become very empowered with the training.

Once you have begun your training, you will notice an immediate change within yourself. You may begin to feel better about yourself. You may even begin to feel relieved. Often, people are inspired from their first onset feelings that they will begin to feel different about themselves. Overall, people are enlightened by the art of Zen and they also seek more, because of the positive energy that it seems to put forth.

The first thing that you have to do when it comes to Zen training is to try to understand the history and culture that comes with the art of Zen. You'll also want to consider that there are many reasons why someone will begin training, but it will encourage you to seek more knowledge out, because you feel so much better about yourself and about most situations when you take the time out to become one with your surrounding and become neutral.  You will be able to see the changes in yourself with just some "beginner" classes.

Walking Meditation Zen Training

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When it comes to Zen, you'll find that there are a lot of people who find that walking is more helpful then sitting. Often people, who are using Zen, are actually using Zen to control their addictions and OCD behaviors. You'll find that sitting for a typical Zen session can be very hard when you are coming down from a high or coming off detox. You'll want to consider using walking Zen so that you can keep your body active and you are also able to clear your head and reap all the benefits of Zen.

You'll find that if you just walk around the room or you go outsider, you'll want to pay attention to your footsteps and your breathing. You will want to relate some patterns.  You'll also want to keep in mind that the earth is safe under your feet. This means, even though all your stress and cravings are hitting you, you still grounded and alive. You'll find that the slower that you are able to walk the better. This is because you'll look at the mechanics and movement. You'll focus on things other than your breathing. It is very important that you think about the things that make you feel complete when walking and meditating. Find memories that have upset you and toss them. Clear your mind. Ask yourself what it is that you want. Truly you'll be able to find the answers when you take some of the pressure off of yourself.

When you begin to slow yourself down, you'll become aware of yourself more. You'll also be able to relax, because you are not concerned about the things that stress you, but you are simply thinking about left foot-right foot. You'll find that if you also lift your head up and allow your shoulders to fall, you'll be able to become naturally relaxed. You'll find that this will also help you to get a grip on the things that weigh you down. You'll want to keep in mind that when it comes to walking meditation you are intensely focused. You need to be in state of mind that allows you to escape your stress and with the meditation you'll be able to take control of yourself.

There are a lot of other ways that you can use Zen in your life without having to feel uncomfortable. For those who are addicts, you'll want to keep in mind that the walking meditation helps you to focus on things other than your addiction. Often, people who are addicted, will begin to shake in withdraw. They will begin to lose interest in their own recovery, but they will gain interest in trying to sit still. Instead of hurting yourself and relapsing because of your inability to stay seated, you may want to accept your body movements and do something to distract your from the shakes.

It's hard to take meditation and Zen and use it in your everyday life, but you'll find that the minute you start a Zen routine you'll be able to see a difference. You'll be able to see a change in yourself. You'll be able to think more clearly and also feel more alive and active. With the art of Zen, you should be able to let go of a lot of the stress that you have. You may want to consider doing something to help your current mental and physical health, because other ways will just tear you down more. Sometimes this is just a good way of getting control over your body and your mind. Often out feelings can be overwhelming, but when you use Zen, you'll be able to take back a lot of control that you lack.

Crisis Techniques
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There are times in everyone's life where you feel that there is no way out. You begin to feel hopeless and helpless. You need to get over the feelings by trying to make the most out of your time. You need to keep in mind that there are many times where you need to look at the crisis and take a step back. The minute that you take a step back and begin to use Meditation techniques you will find that you'll be able to move on from the crisis and you'll be able to come out of the situation a better person. You'll find that there are two things that you can do when a real crisis pops up.

The first thing that you can do in a crisis is to just take a moment from the panicky feelings and look past the anger and the fear. You'll need to make attention to the things that are around you at the moment. You will need to take a moment and you'll need to distract yourself for a little bit. Start looking for things that are blue (or any other color) and name them. You will need to start naming things in the room or even naming your pain. When you name your pain you are able to say that you hurt in a specific place and also that your pain is based on some type of emotion. You'll begin to own the pain and the feelings. This will help you to face some of your problems and you should be able to control some of the pain and some of the underlying issues.

The second thing that you can do to get over your pain is to leave the area. Often you may not be able to turn to meditation, but you have to consider going outside, going to a different room, or even leaving the entire situation behind you for a while. You'll want to take yourself from the busy and chaotic situation and place yourself in a room that is peaceful. All you have to do is sit in the middle of the room in a meditation state. When you are in this state you don't want to pay attention to things like your neighbor's dog, but you need to pay attention to your breathing. When you begin to take control over the pain, you are able to become a bigger and better person.

When you are feeling really shaky about yourself or about the past drug or alcohol abuse that you have endured, it is always best that you reach out to others. Meditation is great. The Zen techniques will help you to take control of your feelings. It will also help you to own your feelings, but you have to realize that it will not help you to keep yourself going down the right path. Remember, Zen is going to allow you to see all the answers that you are looking for, however, you have to want to change yourself. Instead of allowing others to watch you go down a destructive path, you'll want to take this time and allow others to take care of yourself emotionally. Everyone needs the emotional support. You'll want to consider that there are so many ways that you can overcome your changes or obstacles, but you need to have the emotional support of others to want to change.

Zen will help you to believe in yourself, but you'll also need the chance to allow others to encourage you. You'll feel better knowing that you can change, but take comfort in knowing that others believe in you as well. You'll want to consider that there are many ways that you'll be able to use Zen training for personal grain and enrichment, but you still need the support from others in order to change.

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