Zen Meditation Enlightening Calm
Zen meditation can be done in a number of ways, there are a number of schools through which Zen is taught and each has its own style of meditating in order to absorb and find your way back to enlightenment. The archetypal image of a master sitting atop a mountain, meditating for years to achieve a totally blank and empty mind is just one form, there are others.
Zazen It Is Simpler Than Most People Think
Zazen is the Japanese way of saying Zen meditation. The point that marks it out as being different from western thoughts on the practice comes from the Japanese meaning of the word. Zazen actually just means "sitting meditation" or "seated meditation". It is that simple. Due to the ethos behind it it should be simple, after all it is about reconnecting to something you have already done.
Diverse Ways Of Practicing
As has been said there are different ways of practicing this form of meditating. They vary from school to school, and even masters within schools will have slightly different ways of practicing. The standard image that many people have of Zen meditation is that of completely emptying the mind, having it become completely blank. This is the Rinzai way of performing Zen meditation.
Rinzai offers probably the most challenging form of meditating that you can do. Sitting for long periods of time, motionless, constantly doing your best to empty your mind is a challenge. That said it is a challenge that is worth taking in terms of the benefits that you gain from doing it. It enables you to achieve a huge sense of detachment from various elements of life. Something which is believed to help you to reconnect with and achieve the enlightened state again.
The Main Ways Of Practicing Zen Meditation
Whilst these are the methods from the two main schools that teach Zen, there are other ways that you can practice.
Open Practice Of Absorbtion Through Meditating
Realistically you can do either of the methods above, Soto or Rinzai, or you can do something in between. Whilst different schools have different ideas and doctrines on achieving Zen, it should be noted that those ideas came from men, and everyone has their own ideas and different things which work for them. Hence the reason that differing schools have differing ideas, the men that founded them and set down the initial teachings.
If you wish to allow your mind free reign do so, if you wish to empty it do so, if you wish to hold the seed of an idea whilst your mind roams or is emptied do so. Do as you feel is right, follow the Zen meditation methods given, or follow your own path. The destination after all is independent of the route taken.