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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Zen is the way for a richer life - HT inner voice

Sanjeev Dheer

Is Zen a religion, meditation technique or some cult? Once a novice asked a Zen master, "Master, what is the first principle of Zen?" The master remained silent. The disciple repeated his question. The master replied with some hesitation, "If I were to explain the first principle of Zen, it would become the second principle. " Yes, indeed Zen can't be explained in words. It is the art of living. One has to live in Zen to experience Zen. It is the ultimate reach of human consciousness.

Zen was born in India, grew up and matured in China, but blossomed and flowered out in Japan.

Zen was born out of the tenets of Mahayana Buddhism, where in it is known as "dhyan", an act of meditation, contemplation, introspection. The original source dates back to the age of Gautam Buddha, who, at a gathering, started gazing at a lotus flower, was completely silent and gained a special insight.

One of the core practices of Zen is sitting in Zen meditation posture, which is known as "Zazen". Zen meditation techniques emphasise on mind watching and focusing on breath. Pay attention to your inhalation.

And while inhaling think and feel about your body, try to relax each and every part of your body, starting with facial muscles, shoulders, down to throat, to the abdomen, thighs, legs and feet.

When you breathe in, think of joy and calm. Retain your breath for some time and breath out. While exhaling, feel each and every part of your body getting relaxed and all your tensions getting absorbed and evacuated into the cosmic energy outside.

While inhaling, count four, retain with count two and exhale out, with counting of four. Repeat this moderation of exercise, by increasing your time length in the second and the third week of practice. Enjoy the bliss and tranquility seeping into our body with stillness of your mind. Zen is a quest, a missing link between your outer world and the inner self. It's a way of life one should cultivate for a richer and better life.

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