Zen Meditation


Q. How does Zen Meditation work?

A. I haven't tried it yet but I asked a practitioner named Tyler to explain. Here are some notes I wrote based on what he told me.

1. Meditation is the act of focusing on nothing to achieve an altered state of consciousness. You can also focus on a single verse but this may require considerable practice.

2. For the Zen form of meditation, sit in a relaxed position. Use a chair. Not the lotus position; that is for the Chi form.

3. Don't close your eyes; look at a wall. No radio or music. Try to empty your mind. Focus on nothing; not on the concept of nothing. Breath slowly. Relax but remain alert. Eventually an ineffable state may occur. The ineffable state is surreal. In the ineffable, or surreal, state nothing becomes like everything.

4. In clearing your mind, if your mind comes up with a thought, don't do anything with the thought. Let it run its course and leave. Try not to focus on it.

5. When you breath during meditation, use your diaphragm. It will feel like you're pushing out your stomach. Breath in slowly, through nose or mouth, whatever is natural. When your stomach seems full, pause and hold your breath for a second. This period of time will extend naturally as you practice. Breath out slowly.

6. It may take a long time to achieve the surreal state. During my first 5 to 10 sessions it required about an hour. Eventually this period dropped to 20 to 30 minutes.

7. The metaphysical theory behind meditation is that in the ineffable state you will eventually see everything as one thing and this will promote a feeling of peace.

8. I observed positive changes in myself after a course of meditation. They are difficult to describe but included the aforementioned feeling of peace and the perception that I had more energy physically.

9. If you meditate on a verse or concept, just sit there and hold it in your mind. This is difficult; I still can't do it myself.

Note: The Chi form is similar to the Zen form described above with a verse used but there are some differences.

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