Zentraveler on the meaning of Zen!

We can start by asking the question what is Zen? Is it the Zen handbook entitled: “Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance.?” Is it the Zen of fly-fishing? Is it a branch of Buddhism? Is it just you being you? A simplistic answer is: Zen is eliminating your ego… thus being empty, free, fresh, and creative. mu-shin (no self)

Zen mu-shin. Monks in training sit in Zazen (Zen meditation) for approximately 6 hours a day. Regulating body and breath, they enter into mu (a state of unconflicted receptivity) with eyes half-closed. Seven times a year they have week-long retreats known as Sesshin, where they sit in Zazen from 3 AM until 11 PM. Just sit!

One way to think of Zen is this: a total state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of body and mind. Zen is a way of being. It also is a state of mind. Zen involves dropping illusion and seeing things without distortion created by your own thoughts. “Sun is warm, grass is green.”

The belief of no faith began its existence with Buddhism, the “father” of Zen. Buddhism began with a prince named Siddhartha. Siddhartha was born close to five hundred B.C.. After having lived twenty-nine years and experiencing life in the world, the soon-to-be-enlightened one left his child and martial partner in order to dedicate the rest of his life towards becoming enlightened. At the age of thirty-five, Siddhartha attained Enlightenment under the fabled Bo tree and became Buddha, or “The Enlightened One”.

Although Buddha’s body died later, his spirit lived on and went into the next person that needs a soul (i.e. people that are being conceived. Many Zen thinkers say that Zen was initiated once Buddha achieved Enlightenment. Other Zen masters think of Bodidharma as the “founder” of the most popular Japanese form of Buddhism. Bodidharma’s name means “law of wisdom”. The first Zen Buddhist was the leader of a Buddhist sect that later became Zen around 470 A.D.. Although there is doubt as to who officially began Zen, the definition of Zen remains the same.

If you aren’t committed to becoming a monk and wearing yellow robes and keeping away from general society, you can still get a lot of benefits by just sitting or learning a Zen way of life, which you can practice anytime, anywhere, under any conditions, anywhere in the world….and the total monetary cost is free.

QUOTE: Zen is Complete and absolute peace. I am so zen. This guy dumped muddy water on me and I just smiled and waved. Zen is a state of coolness… only attained through a totally laid-back type of attitude. Chilling out and wearing sunglasses all day makes me zen. Can you pass the Zen, please?

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: In the beginner’s mind there is no thought, “I have attained something.” All self-centered thoughts limit our vast mind. When we have no thought of achievement, no thought of self, we are true beginners. Then we can really learn something. The beginner’s mind is the mind of compassion. When our mind is compassionate, it is boundless. Dogen-zenji, the founder of our school, always emphasized how important it is to resume our boundless original mind. Then we are always true to ourselves, in sympathy with all beings, and can actually practice.

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE:Beginners Mind! Sounds easy …not necessary so grasshopper!

ZENTRAVELER SAYS: Eliminate your ego, empty your mind and practice giving compassion to all of the worlds people, animals, fishes and plants. That’s what I am talking about…high octane Zen! CAUTION YOUR EGO WON’T GIVE UP EASILY …IT WILL ALWAYS TRY TO WORK BACK INTO YOUR LIFE AND BE A PART OF YOU.

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?


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Filed under absolute peace, beginner's mind, Practical Zen, Uncategorized, what is zen, Zazen, Zen Buddihism

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