Zenjyo ( Zen meditation ) refers to meditation in which the mind is quieted and focused on a single object. It is a term used in the Buddhist world and is considered a form of ascetic practice. It is called by ZEN as a universal language.
Stages of Zen meditation
There are three main groups of stages of zen meditation according to the progress of one's practice. There are three main groups, which can be further subdivided into nine stages in total.
Stages of the color world
The color world is the first of the three groups of Zen meditation. The first four of the nine stages are classified here. This is also called the "four zen color worlds. First, there are two major things that must be cleared before entering the color world stage. The first is to eliminate attachment to the world and the world of greed. The world of greed is the world in which we enjoy and suffer according to the information we receive from our five senses. This sounds a little difficult, but to give a concrete example, it is the world in which we enjoy watching TV, eating food, and suffering pain when we fall down. The second is to stay away from bad things. When you can unify your mind and detach yourself from daily greed and evil, you can finally enter the First Zen of the Color World. First Zen is the state of being full of joy and happiness that comes from detachment from all involvements. This is not yet a practice, but rather an experience of ease through detachment from evil and greed. Note that in this first zen stage, both verbal and non-verbal thinking is taking place. In the second zen stage, the mind becomes calm as verbal and non-verbal thoughts disappear. This stage is filled with joy and happiness resulting from this. The mind is unified without concentration, so there is no thinking, and a kind of relaxation takes place. In the first zen, one is filled with joy and happiness by "detaching oneself from evil and greed," but in the second zen, one can feel joy and happiness by "calming and unifying the mind. As can be seen from this, strictly speaking, one enters the state of zen from the second zen. One question arises here. Second Zen is a state of non-thinking, but how can we realize that we have reached that stage? To be precise, one cannot feel that one has entered second zen during one's practice. It is only after completing the practice, returning to the mundane world, and thinking about it that you realize that you have entered the second zen stage. In other words, in this practice, the thoughts follow after the experience. This is next followed by the third zen. Here, you leave the feelings of joy and happiness that you had been feeling up to the second zen. Here, the mind is always at peace, and the body is aware of and savors the experience of happiness. Here, the joy of a unified mind is gone, and only the feeling of the happiness of calmness is felt. This makes the mind of awareness and savor even more clear and transparent. By maintaining equanimity, we become aware of new happiness. The last of the color worlds is the fourth, Zen. Here, feelings of happiness and bitterness are eliminated. By the third zen, the mind has lost its joy and sorrow, so there is only awareness in the calm mind. The absence of euphoria and suffering here means that there is no longer any fluctuation of the mind that comes in the midst of zen meditation. The "suffering" of the mind that is shaken by the things of the outside world and the sense of happiness that accompanies zendo will also disappear. Because the mind has been freed from all kinds of agitating emotions, one can enter a world where there is only equanimity of mind and awareness. Thus, in Shikai-Shizen, the highest state of being is that the mind does not move when it comes into contact with any object. The Buddha, for example, reached the highest stage, arhatship, from here at once. There are many people in the world of Zen who skip the next stage of colorless world and attain enlightenment all at once.
Stages of the Colorless Realm
The colorless world is the fifth through eighth stages of zen meditation. In the fifth zen, the awareness of touching the object is eliminated. In the fifth stage of zen, the awareness of touching the object is eliminated, and one reaches the state of ku-mu-ben-do, where the mind is placed in a world of infinite expanse with no material existence. From this point on, not only is the mind free from feelings of joy and happiness, but the mind alone exists in the limitless expanse of emptiness. In the sixth zen, one goes beyond ku-mu-be-do to reach the state of shin-mu-be-do. Here, instead of feeling the expanse of the world without touching matter in ku-mu-pei-ji, one turns one's attention to one's own mind and experiences that the mind itself is unobstructed and unlimited in its expansion. Then, in the seventh zen, we reach the place of no-possession. In this state of nothingness, one ceases to be aware of even the mind. In the eighth zen, one attains the state of non-thought-non-absence. Here, one goes one step further from the state of not being aware of anything, and one ceases to be aware of anything. More precisely, we strive to avoid the urge to become conscious. By doing so, we can bring ourselves to a state where consciousness does not arise in us at all. This state, which is similar to a state of suspended animation, is the highest state of colorless equanimity, which is beyond the colorless world zenjutsu.
About Japanese Buddhism and Zen Buddhism
Various methods have been created in Japan to attain zen meditation. These include Zen meditation in the Soto and Rinzai sects and Zen cessation (Hokkei-Zen) in the Tendai sect. Many of these methods are characterized by a prescribed manner of etiquette and manners, and are more physically oriented.
How to do Zen meditation
The essence of zen meditation is to unify the mind. For this reason, it has been practiced in Japan since ancient times in the form of zazen or meditation. Here is one common way to meditate. The key points to keep in mind when meditating are posture, breath, and mind. First, posture. First, sit with your posture straight and your chest wide open. Then relax the entire upper body, from the eyebrows to the face, shoulders, and arms. Place your hands on your thighs and close your eyes. You may use a chair when sitting down. Choose a method that you can continue without straining, especially if you have bad knees. There is a trick to breathing. The trick is to lengthen the time you spend on each breath. This will naturally bring you closer to a relaxed mind. Breathe in through the nose, breathe out through the nose, and use abdominal breathing to regulate your breathing. The concrete way to regulate the mind is to regulate posture and breathing. In other words, if you can practice the above two things, your mind will be relaxed and attuned. These are more effective when done in a quiet and calm place. Please try them out.
The relationship between zen meditation and wisdom
Wisdom is the ability to discern the truth and to attain awareness of the truth. Buddhist practitioners engage in daily practice with the goal of perfecting this wisdom. In the sutras, there is a saying, "Wisdom is born from zen meditation. In other words, by practicing zenjutsu and reaching the final state, one can attain the same state as the Buddha.
About Zen meditation
The goal of all Buddhist practice, including zenjutsu, is to attain enlightenment. Many practitioners ascend through the stages of zen meditation over a long period of time, striving to reach the state of Buddhahood.
Meditation is not only a Buddhist practice, but also helps us to organize and ease our feelings about various problems in our daily lives. If you have problems with your relationships or work, try meditating and experiencing zen meditation. It may change the way you perceive things and make your life easier.