Zazen Meditation

Zazen meditation is the core technique of the Soto school of Zen Buddhism. It’s simple, effective, and easy to learn. However, it can take years to master completely. With daily practice, this meditation will enhance your concentration and focus tremendously and will help you to control stress and anxiety. All it involves is observing your breath in a controlled fashion. With sufficient practice, your mind will become still like water and be focused like a laser. Begin by selecting the right meditation posture. It could be the full or half-lotus posture, the seiza posture, or you can sit on a straight-backed chair with your feet flat on the floor.

Keep your mouth closed and place your tongue against your upper palate. With your tongue in the proper position, swallow once to create a seal and inhibit salivation. Otherwise, it can lead to excessive swallowing during the meditation. Keep you back straight during the entire meditation so that the diaphragm can move freely during your practice.

  1. Sit in a comfortable meditative posture.
  2. Place your hands in your lap in the cosmic mudra depicted in the featured image above. If you’re right-handed, the right-hand cradles the left hand with the thumbs lightly touching. If you’re left-handed then the left-hand cradles the right hand.
  3. Softly gaze downward at a 45-degree angle at the area in front of you.
  4. Focus on the area just below your navel and breathe normally without force or strain.
  5. Pay attention to your breath as it moves in and out of your body.
  6. Begin to count your breath as you breathe in and out. Count ‘one’ on inhalation then ‘two’ on exhalation, ‘three’ on the next inhalation, ‘four’ on the next exhalation, and so on until you reach 10 breaths.
  7. Start again at one  and keep counting your breaths for the remainder of the session

Pay attention to your breath for the entire meditation session. If your mind wanders, simply bring it back it back to your breath. All you have to do to practice this meditation is to remember your breath. Don’t force, don’t strain, and don’t push yourself. Practice this meditation as gently as possible and you will reap the rewards of a calmer and more focused mind.