Series B2B: What is Meditation & what are its benefits? Part 1
In series B2B ( Back to the basics ) we will start by talking about meditation.
Zen means meditation in Japanese, and meditation is, by far, the most important component of Zen Buddhism practice because :
It contains all the keys teaching that the Buddha taught.
It is a sort of “micro or mini Awakening” We will elaborate on it.
What is a meditation from the Zen Buddhism perspective?
Simply said, meditation is the practice of “ just being “ in its most genuine sense.
Meaning: meditating is the conscious, physical, and sensorial experience of the surrounding
realities occurring in the present moment.
These words define Awakening or Enlightenment.
I will describe in this Part 1 4 components of meditation: Body – Mind- Impacts – Variations
Still and relaxed.
Any posture is OK as long as your back is straight, chin parallel to the floor, eyes closed, or
traditionally keeping open looking down at the floor w/o staring ( It will help to focus).
Sitting on the floor on a mat with a meditation cushion called zafu, cross legs *, and hands
on the laps is the optimal posture since you are grounded.
Thru the nose to feel the cold air entering which has a calming effect on the mind
Focus on the exhale is passive but w/o trying to change frequency.
Counting your breath from 1 to 10 and then 10 to 1 at the end of your exhale will help you
in focusing better.
Place your tongue behind your upper teeth if salivation is a problem.
One of the goals of meditation is to control our ongoing flow of thoughts, that is, eventually
to control our mind. How? Since our brain-mind cannot produce 2 thoughts at the same time,
if you force your mind to focus on something such as your breathing, it will have a hard time
generating another thought at the same time. Breathing is the mind anchor but anything can
be an anchor. We use breathing because it is convenient, and always there.
Focus, in a mindful way, on your breathing then, when a thought pops out –
they will always do - accept it in a mindful way then let it go, and return to your breathing.
This back and forth between your breathing (body) and thought (mind) is the core of
Among the beneficial impacts of regular meditation on our day-to-day life are: Samatha and
Vipassana with their daily beneficial effects on our life:
Samatha can be translated as “effortless concentration” meaning focusing thoughtlessly
When this is done, calm pervades your body and mind.
When we are meditating, we are practicing Samatha.
Vipassana can be translated as “ proper Insight,” which is a clear awareness and right
understanding of our surrounding factual reality and its components in the present
moment. The opposite is being in a constant mind-made daydreaming state full of illusion,
and delusion. When we meditate, we are practicing Vipassana.
Applying your meditative skills during the day will help you greatly not only to experience the present moment but also to have better control of your wandering mind to achieve serenity.
I will talk more in detail about the other benefits of meditation in an incoming Dharma talk.
Meditation is a daily practice: solo, and with a group, which is far more effective.
It can be applied during any activities such as walking, eating, showing, gardening, etc...
Meditation practice is cumulative.
Never judge the quality of your meditation: it is a recipe for quitting.
Meditating is the conscious, physical, and sensorial experience of the surrounding realities occurring in the present moment.
This is a transient mini Awakening at work. Make it permanent