What did Zen mean in your life

Zen

What is zen

Once a monk asks Zen master Jôshû: "What is Zen? Please, instruct me." Jôshû replied: "Have you already had breakfast?" "Yes, master," replied the monk. "Then", Jôshû said to him, "wash your bowls."


Zen is an attitude towards life and mind based on the following principles:

Practicing attention

Zen means to live in the moment, to perceive the moment; As a consequence, this also means not to judge him, since an assessment already limits the perception.

Calm the mind

Zen means to calm the thoughts that are in us, e.g. by concentrating on our breath, possibly combined with simple counting exercises.

Concentrated action

Zen means becoming one with one's actions. Zen masters practice a tea ceremony, for example, during which they prepare tea for the participants in a highly concentrated manner.

Not wanting to achieve anything

Zen means doing what the moment demands without thinking about the next or greater goal.

Be independent from everything

Zen means going further and doing what that moment calls for, whether the moment is good or bad. To live means to walk the path that lies ahead of you at the moment.


Zen is easy to do, it is everyday life itself that you don't need to learn. However, it may be advisable to place yourself in the care of a Zen teacher or Zen master and practice in a Zen monastery or center. In the course of time, various traditional ways have also been established in Zen that are supposed to facilitate practice. These include: (meditative) sitting (zazen), (meditative) walking (kinhin), the tea path / tea ceremony (chadô), flower arranging (ikebana), calligraphy (shodô) and various sports such as tai chi, qi gong, sword fighting (Kendô) and archery (Kyûdô)


Once a Vinaya teacher asked a Zen master, "How do you practice Zen in your daily life?" The master replied, "When I am hungry, I eat. When I am full, I wash my bowl. When I am tired, I sleep."
The teacher replied, "Everyone does. So does everyone practice Zen like you?" The Zen Master declared, "No, not in the same way." The teacher asked, "Why not in the same way?" The master smiled: "When others eat, they dare not eat. Their minds are filled with an infinite number of reflections. That is why I say: not in the same way."