The Benefits of Zen Meditation

Zen Meditation

At inception, Zen meditation was referred to as certain types of sitting meditation. However, today, this has long been over taken by modern definitions which now encompass forms of meditation performed by people in various postures including walking. Like many other forms of meditation, Zen meditation is practiced to achieve body and mind calmness. Through this practice one can gain insight into the nature of existence and indeed, find peace of mind.

The ability to attain total state of stillness, emptiness and full awareness of happenings around us has certain benefits for those who can achieve it as we will see in the next few paragraphs.

Zen for Academic Excellence

Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine found in a brain imaging study that, after being interrupted by a word-recognition task, experienced meditators' brains returned faster to their pre-interruption condition.

Zazen is the heartbeat of Zen practice. The daily involvement in this meditation can help achieve increased levels of concentration and focus despite distractions in our surroundings with greater awareness, calmness, improved mind and body balance, and general health improvement.

It has the abilities to help students achieve academic pursuit to the more advanced levels of concentration, which enables them focus on daily task with minimum distractions.

Zen Meditation in Drug Rehabilitation

Experience of our breathing is one method that can be useful in rehabilitation therapy for drug addicts. This involves the ability to be aware of ones breathing with absolute attention paid to the act of bread thing. The different phases of breathing taken note of; inspiration, expiration trying to note if any differences, which of the lungs becomes fuller, and during which phase of respiration this happens. As you notice and know your breath, move in closer. Everything disappears into the breathing body and within a very short time of beginning this breathing practices, an addict will begin to notice a difference in attentiveness. Some of the indulgences they hitherto enjoyed, before addiction will resurface and one gradually reclaims his/her life. This tends to merge the separate lives of highs and lows from addiction to one undivided existence.

Stress and Pain Relieve with Zen Meditation

Naming is a meditation practice that is useful at times of stress or when you are in pain. It one common attribute found in Zen practice and other Buddhist tradition and Vipassana.

Stress brings forth pain, emotional pain and sometimes physical pain.Sometimes the physical pain causes stress and vice versa. Everybody leaving addiction behind will have periods when the craving is most intense, depression and restlessness results in sleeplessness and you can not make it out of the trauma.

Failure to notice how the body feels probably makes the worried wearied and overwhelmed. There naming of stress becomes necessary. It's as simple as identifying the part of the body the problem is and call it a name. The problem make have created knots in the stomach, tension and pain in the neck, headache and tiredness. Just the act of naming the problem may go a long way in making you relax from the emotional or physical pain.

Detectives Waiting Time

It is impossible to be good at being a crime detective without the ability and patience to waiting. Sometimes detectives may have to wait for 10 to 18 hours or more to solve a crime. Zen meditation has been found useful in situations like this as one could choose to adopt the breathing practice and just breathe away hours while waiting for a suspect. It makes it so easy to wait as you would not just be waiting and getting bored. By becoming away of your breathing, it is possible to be engaged for ours and still be aware of the surroundings. One of the most difficult parts of being a detective is the waiting game. Zen can help achieve this. You can be sure you would not doze off.

Zen meditation Benefits Depression

Depression is best deal with by walking -- this can either be a formal slow walking as a meditation practice, or just going out for a walk. Walking meditation is done by holding the right fist on the waist in front of you and clasp the left hand over it. You walk slowly holding the head up. If balance is difficult for you at this slow speed, try walking with your feet spaced farther apart than you usually would. Many people are used to walking fast and merely walking with this slow pass surprises a lot of people. As with sitting meditation, you watch your breathing. When you walk, let steps be keyed into the breath, or notice how this happens naturally. Continue breath-counting if okay by you. This is the ground of the practice -- walking and breathing, and counting. Your concentration stays with your body in your feet, but in a less intense way than when you sit. With eyes open and senses alert, you notice sounds and sights and let them go, That brings the mind back again to your feet.

Note that walking meditation is note the only form of exercise that can deal with depression, any sort of exercise is excellent for depression and will lift your spirits. Just turn it into mindfulness practice by noticing your sweating body, how you feel, which muscles ache and the different thoughts that passes through.

Zen Meditation Helps in Psychiatric Disorders

Giuseppe Pagnoni, PhD, Emory assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and co-workers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine changes in blood flow in the brain when people meditating were interrupted by stimuli designed to mimic the appearance of spontaneous thoughts.

Twelve people from the Atlanta area who have more than three years of daily practice in Zen meditation were compared with 12 others who had never been exposed to it.

While having their brains scanned, the subjects were asked to focus on their breathing. Every once in a while, they had to distinguish a real word from a nonsense word presented at random intervals on a computer screen and, having done that, promptly "let go" of the just processed stimulus by refocusing on their breath.

The authors found that differences in brain activity between experienced meditators and novices after interruption could be seen in a set of areas often referred to as the "default mode network." Previous studies have linked the default mode network with the occurrence of spontaneous thoughts and mind-wandering during wakeful rest. This was only more intriguing.

It was noticed that after this thought interruption, those experienced in meditation were able to bring activity in most regions of the default network back to baseline faster than non-meditators. This effect was especially prominent in the angular gyrus, the region important for processing language in the brain. See http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0003083 for further reading.

"This suggests that the regular practice of meditation may enhance the capacity to limit the influence of distracting thoughts. This skill could be important in conditions such as attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorder and major depression, characterized by excessive rumination or an abnormal production of task-unrelated thoughts," Pagnoni says."

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Comments 10 comments

Viva Jones profile image

Viva Jones 3 years ago from UK

I truly believe the world would be a better place if more people meditated! A great hub, thanks!


smfay profile image

smfay 4 years ago from Manila, Philippines

In Meditation, the practitioner becomes part of whole, seeing and understanding what is not obvious in the space of the mundane. great hub, Thanks for sharing


FadyAgeeb 5 years ago

meditation got a lot of benefits and it is easy to start it now

thanks for that great hub and looking to read more from u about meditation

i wrote some of my own articles about meditation and need to read more from you


Jeyaprakash 5 years ago

Zen is one of the effective systems of meditation. Observing the breath and the thoughts would help in increasing the gap between the thoughts that would help in transcending the mind.


best meditation 5 years ago

Wow. Such a very informative article. One can really learn a lot about Zen meditation. Thanks!


jamesbondsmate profile image

jamesbondsmate 5 years ago

I have found meditation really helpful during my life. A lot of people I know have a lot of preconceived notions that meditation is sitting in silence and this is boring. Thanks very much for an interesting article to let more people know the benefits.


NYmichael profile image

NYmichael 6 years ago from near NYC

I have found it useful to add trauma treatment technique to zen. The zen I have seen practiced sometimes becomes purely intellectual and takes the practitioner out of the body. This can lead to not taking the material world seriously, as happened with Baker Roshi at SF Zen Center in the 70s. I find trauma technique and theory in people such as Peter Levine and the Hakomi method.


joecseko profile image

joecseko 6 years ago from New York, USA, Earth

This reminds me of my Shaolin days. I'd mentioned a bit about Zen Philosophy in a recent hub, so I decided to link to yours.

Nicely done. Enjoy the Journey...


Hokey profile image

Hokey 6 years ago from In the energy.

Thanks. I enjoyed that. Namaste


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

Good article about practical benefits of meditation. Certainly thumbs up from.

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