Zen meditation, an exercise that is both physically and emotionally healing, has been practiced by individuals for centuries. Originating in China, Zen has been viewed as a powerful form of exercise that connects the human mind and body to nature. Coming from the Sanskrit word “dhyana” and translated “meditation,” scholars believed that one did not need to rely on religious manuscripts or rituals, but rather apply the concept of “mind over matter” to reach the state of enlightenment.
Buddhism, a religion closely associated with Zen practices, has long held that its effects were not dependent on verbal communication. Though tied to a specific religion and culture, a common misconception is that Zen is only targeted toward specific groups of people or individuals. On the contrary, it is through the practice itself that anyone is able to participate in this form of meditation. As it has migrated from culture to culture, the practice of Zen meditation has adapted as others have explored the concept and further enhanced it.
Focused on the development of both mind and body, Zen meditation has resulted in countless benefits to the human body. It has been shown to improve energy levels, aid in digestion, and influence the development of hormones. Unlike other traditional types of exercises, this form of meditation allows for a deeply personal experience, giving the individual the opportunity to center their focus on deep-rooted problems.
Because it is able to train the mind to shift to a more relaxed state, research has shown that stress, anxiety, and even cases of depression are just some of the many bodily issues Zen meditation has been able to target. Having the ability to calm oneself and enter a meditative state allows the mind, body, and soul to reflect on the present rather than the past.
With its prescribed movements and activities, negative thoughts, or any thoughts for that matter, can be masked, leaving the individual solely concentrated on opening themselves up to their perspective environment. Though many may find the breathing exercises or the placing of one’s bodies in various types of positions odd or uncomfortable, Zen meditation provides an innumerable amount of benefits.
History has shown that with the use of self-rigorous activities, individuals are able to find their true selves from within and reach their own personal achievement, commonly referred to as enlightenment.