【Culture】”Zazen” is a harmonization of body, breath and mind2015.06.15


Zazen” is a meditation practice of Soto Zen Buddhist monks. The purpose of “Zazen” is mental concentration and removal of all worldly desires. Concentration, “Koan” (Introspection) and “Shikantaza”(Sitting) are the three things basic to the method. Many Buddhist monks believe the daily practice of “Zazen” will elevate spirit and bring them closer to Buddha. The monks initially use “Zazen” as an enlightenment practice. It is believed that Buddha was meditating using “Zazen” and suddenly became content in his own body.

It is easy to practice. Many kindergartens or child day care facilities use it to teach children emotional control and cultural enrichment. The method is easy to learn. Close your eyes, sit with legs crossed “Agura” while taking deep breaths. Then starts to silently count. Clear your mind, release anger, sadness, envy, jealousy, competitive spirit, vanity, dissatisfaction, and frustration. Block out happy thoughts as well. This process creates Harmonization of body, breath and mind. Many say “Zazen” gives one a feeling of peace and calm.

If you are not Buddhist monk, you can still enjoy “Zazen.” Go to “Zazen-kai” which is a communal “Zazen” group, usually held at the Soto (Zen Buddhist) church. The Buddhist monk master will give short “Zazen,” lecture before the practice. Silent is the most important and key to block all worldly thoughts. If you cannot concentrate, the master hits your shoulder with a “Keisaku,” a special flat wooden stick to remind one to concentrate. The stick does not induce pain, many people ask the master for a tap to remove stress and induce peace of mind.


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