Most forms of meditation have a specific goal in mind. A goal often involves the building of energy leading to a connection to the divine and then a release of that energy after the connection has been made. Other times the goal is the movement of energy through your body to discover and repair any blockage or imbalance within you. All meditations strive to fix what is broken on a physical, mental, and spiritual level. Those individuals that have been working with meditation for an extended amount of time may discover that the goals are now incredibly easy to accomplish in a short amount of time. It is for these individuals that Zazen Meditation will be the next logical step.
Meditation is a purification act and once a practitioner has stopped expelling energy on their desires because they are no longer desire driven they are ready for a meditation technique that is above all the rest. If a beginner attempts Zazen it is highly likely that that individual will struggle with restlessness disallowing them the stillness needed. In this type of meditation the practitioner cannot be thinking of a goal or focused on the ultimate outcome. Instead, the practitioner must allow all thoughts and ideas to be released so that nothing is being held on to.
This doesn’t mean you will completely clear your mind, that isn’t possible. Rather, this means you’ll be able to free your mind from the clutter that naturally filters through your thoughts. When thoughts do enter your mind you’ll be able to look at them without judgment until the thought passes in and out of your mind without taking root or causing a reaction. With this calmness to your thoughts you’ll be able to watch your thoughts discover the cause and extinguish its need to be recognized. Eventually the internal tensions that these thoughts create will be eased and stillness will blossom. From this stillness the awareness of the entirety of our lives can be seen. Who and what we are will be revealed. Our true selves.
To reach this state of being, Zazen practitioners focus in their breathing. Breath is important to the accomplishment of discovering your natural peace of mind. Some practitioners focus on counting their breaths or their cycles of breath. This gives something on which your mind can return to after thoughts enter and leave. This is only a guide in the beginning because eventually you will become the breath just as you become the sitting… the being. To aid in achieving the natural flow of breath the proper sitting position is needed. Whichever sitting position you choose it is important that your breath can flow freely and without restriction.
The purpose of Zazen Meditation is to free your mind of the materialistic hold our lives have on us and once you are able to allow your thoughts to enter and quietly leave without investigation you will no longer be limited. This will provide you the quiet calm needed to see the truth of your nature and your place within yourself and the world. Your body, mind, and breath will become one.