Zen is a Japanese influenced Buddhist practice which emphasizes the benefits of meditation. It also adds value to intuition rather than focusing on ritual worship or scriptures. Zen allows for the individual to be more open minded in learning and development. To precisely define Zen is difficult, as it lends its roots from Chinese practicality, Indian intellect and Japanese aesthetic which blend together seamlessly. The transferring of Zen teachings have not occupied many spaces in literary text, rather it is through mind to mind transference that best describes the way it has transformed and passed along. The art of Zen can be seen in the very manner in which Zen has been documented, in that it has not been systematized and dictated. Rather, it runs freely through the mind and has its lessons continuously learned through life.
Efforts have been put in order to make Zen more accessible to other cultures and people. There are three main components that are essential to becoming more Zen. Penetrating to the true self, vitalizing the true self daily and practicing the Zazen , these three steps will get someone on their way to being more zen. The word zen is derived from dhyana which means “to think”. Zen adopts its seated posture from Indian history, seating crossed legs with straight backs helped Indian men and women stay awake while thinking. This practice was adopted to Zen and called zazen. Once zazen is done, a slow walk allows for the stiffness of the legs to dissipate. The purpose of zazen is just to seat still, nothing needs to be sought after, it just needs to be practiced. the benefits that come about from practicing zazen include a change in bad habits, and negative thinking, development of greater insight and intuition and freedom from anxiety.
The art of becoming Zen also involves vitalizing the true self daily. Zen teaches that every moment in life must be lived to the fullest. It also focuses on respecting the physical body and using it in combination with the mind to obtain greater wisdom and insight . Vitalizing the true self includes practicing benevolence towards others which is a key in reconstructing your mindset. Practicing zazen benefits the true self and is helpful in restraining from destructive impulses. Zen relies on giving into life’s demands, meaning, if you are hungry eat, if you are tired, sleep. It is not complicated and it requires you to enjoy the moment fully by living in it. The art of Zen will curate a life lived in serenity and ultimate enlightenment to becoming your true self.
The act of penetrating to the true self is needed so that you can gain enlightenment. The art of zen involves the knowing and understanding that every basic problem can be traced back to the self. To penetrate the self to know truth you must observe without bias. Zen teaches that a state called Buddha can be obtained when the ordinary self becomes enlightened.