What is the purpose of meditation in Zen?

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I thought it was to come to some great understanding but someone said the purpose of meditation is to meditate. I am confused.

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Lha Bho

The purpose is to essentially understand one’s true nature: Emptiness (according to Zen).

Existentialist Absurd Hero

For the most part, it is to maintain ’empty mind’. A mind not fixated on things or problems etc. Koans assist in this, by causing the mind to ponder on paradoxical concepts. The sound of one hand clapping etc.
Then during this state of mind, the practitioner hopes for a moment of enlightenment. When everything makes sense and fits into place.
So I suppose both you and your friend are correct.


it is to reach enlightenment. Some buddhists practicing Zen believe that when meditating they are the most intelligent. Not like they suddenly know more information but that they can find themselves and figure out their own problems.


The purpose of Zen training is to end suffering for all beings.
To end suffering, two things are necessary:
– Correctly perceive the truth of each moment (sound of fingers hitting keys; black type on white screen)
– Function correctly in each moment (write the best answer I’m capable of)
To correctly perceive the truth of each moment, we must perceive what we are doing in each moment. Thus, when meditating, just meditate. When talking, just talk. When driving, just drive. (When talking and driving, just talk and drive.) That’s all.
Correct function depends upon seeing the truth clearly. If we see the truth of each moment, then it becomes possible to act beneficially for all beings.
Best wishes on your path!


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