Zazen is a kind of meditation practiced by a particular group of Japanese Buddhists, and literally means “to sit in meditation.” The focus of Zazen does not lie in the act of sitting or meditating itself, but rather in using certain actions to achieve enlightenment upon oneself. Think of Zen as the bow and Zazen as the arrow. The bow is the guiding theory behind the practice, while Zazen is the arrow which puts that practice into action. The better you understand the bow and the better you control the arrow, the better you’ll be at hitting your target. When done correctly, Zazen can bring awareness to your life, enabling you to discover a better, freer you. In this book, I'm going to guide you through the concepts of Zen and Zazen, the rituals involved in Zazen, how to actually practice Zazen, the four ways of sitting during Zazen, what to pay attention to with regard to your clothing, posture, and the cosmic mudra when practicing Zazen, as well as some meditative breathing techniques.
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