Zen meditation is derived from Zen Buddhism.
This type of meditation is one in which you learn to detach yourself from your thoughts.
This involves passively observing your thoughts without the emotional attachment that usually accompanies them.
Initially it can be very difficult to detach your emotions from your thoughts, especially for the beginner who is learning how to meditate to reduce stress.
When practicing Zen meditation I find it useful to start easy and then move onto other Zazen meditations such as koans which invite contemplation.
I find that the Zen meditation of breath counting is an initial good step to take in Zazen meditation.
Learning Zen meditation involves a number of steps that may include:
Eventually the thoughts become random thoughts and the surface activity of your mind slows down.
Using the metaphor of a lake when the wind is blowing...the surface is disturbed with ripples and it is hard to penetrate to the depths.
Calm the winds of your thoughts, and there will be no waves on the ocean of your mind.
Once the breath counting has been truly learned (and it may take a while) usually Zen meditation progresses to koan study.
In Zen meditation this is the mind asking unanswerable questions such as "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" or "What did your face look like before you were conceived?"
These koans invite profound contemplation and because there are no answers, the mind succumbs and acquiesces to the riddle, opening the mind to greater awareness and deeper insight.
Personally I find the breath counting and breath awareness good strategies for stress management, while the inclusive meditation of koans is a difficult way to manage stress for beginners.
Another alternative may be mindfulness meditation. There are two types of mindfulness:
Search here for other meditation techniques to reduce stress
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