A great Indian sage once said, “The World is an illusion. Only true self in real. The World is a true self.”
1,5000 years ago, the first Ch’an (Zen) school was established. The concept arrives in Japan in the 12th century C.E. 1,300 years ago it made its way into Korea and Vietnam. By the late 19th century it reaches Europe and North America.
But what is ZEN?
Every country has established its own practices and definition but all are talking about one simple idea. Zen is a shorthand for zen Buddhism. In Chinese, it means “Chàn,” which translated into Sanskrit as “dhayan.” And that simply means “meditation” in English.
If you want to know is more detail, Zen is an essential state of being at peace with your own thoughts, being self-aware about your place in the universe. Able to see the world and this universe in its true form.
The search for unexplained has inspired numerous myths, religious practices, belief systems, and even scientific researches. But throughout China, from the 9th to the 13th-century zen Buddhists were asking a different question. They were asking, “Why do we need an explanation?”
For these monks, binary seeking answers were not the real enlightenment. And they believed learning the mysteries of existence is the true path to the enlightenment. The basics of zen focus on breaking the boundaries of the way our mind thinks and its behavior to witness the world in its true self.
What does zen teach us?
I hope you have got an idea of what zen is. But if the concept is still not clear, just hang on, you are going to learn something that you will never forget.
We are living in a chaotic world, and by living in the year 2020, you can’t deny with me. Worries and depression are in the air. Why? Because of “I,” that’s the unexplained word and we repeat this word thousands of times in a day.
“I, i, i, i, i, i, i, i, i;
me, me, me, me, me.”
Even in eight, during our sleep concerns and though on what the other person thinks of me, will I get this job? Oh, I knew this guy from school, I don’t like him.” Keep us repeating the unexplained and that’s why more than often we woke-up tired.
Zen Buddhism teaches us to question the existence of that I? Where that I come from? Where was I before I was born, where do I go, when I die? Instead of worrying about and finding the replies from your crush, Zen teaches you the existence of life. By practicing zen you learn to abolish binary explanations. As it rather explains mystical truth about yourself, about your true existence. It helps us establish a relationship with your own mind and become more kind toward others.
However, practicing zen and become capable of not getting bothered by the unexplained is not a simple task. To become comfortable living with the mysteries of unexplained, meditating zen monks used to listen to the collection of 1,700 “Koans”. Those were the ambiguous and philosophical thought experiments (story of unexplained real-life cases).
The practice of zen
Apart from the Koans, Zazen sitting meditation and Kinhin walking meditation were the two most common ways of practicing zen. During their meditation, these zen monks do the noninteractive observation of breaths, while letting the thoughts to come and go, rise and fall. Never tried to fight the thought just letting them come and go, without interacting with them, zen monks learn the technique of abolishing the binary explanation.
These monks also practice intense group meditation, where they often go without talking for a week, following the disciplined focus.