Zen MeditationZen meditation is not about being in a dry, silent place and doing nothing. Zen is actually a meditative practice, which is usually the basis of the whole Zen Buddhist practice. In short, the true meaning and technique of Zen meditation vary from teacher to teacher, but in essence it can generally be seen as a way of exploring the deeper meaning of life. To better explain Zen meditation, we have to first have a clear understanding of how the full lotus position works. This is the most popular and common position in the world of Zen meditation. It can be easily explained using the example of a flower. The flower starts out full in the soil and slowly grows, opening up to a white or pink colour at the tip. At this stage it's just a simple matter of dropping down from the height, keeping the body in the same position as it started out. In this example we can see that the rise and drop off of the flower occur at different times. In the full-lotus position, after dropping from the height of the body stays in - the cushion layer cushions the fall. However, if we were to use a more conventional cushion we would find that as the person rose from the initial sitting position, his/her back would have to remain in the original position, with the feet on top of the cushion. This would result in the person having to keep the head in a slightly higher position than when sitting, with the result that the back would have to stay in a slightly worse position as the feet are brought down, resulting in the person having to prop the head up with his/her hands for the time being. From this position we can then understand how the more common, traditional Zen meditation can be performed using only the chair (as opposed to sitting). The first, and most important, step is to learn the basic sitting posture and learn to relax. As already mentioned, when learning the zen method, a lot of attention is given to achieving a deep concentration which is at the heart of Zen practice. It is this focus which allows the practitioner to achieve a state of true, or 'awake', awareness - the key to realising the benefits of sitting in a Zen posture. Once this has been achieved, the next step of this type of Zen meditation is to learn controlled breathing. Controlled breathing is necessary for achieving a deeper, more profound state of awareness. Many people will simply observe their breathing whilst doing this, without the intention of transcending the experience of this type of controlled breathing. However, there is another benefit to controlled breathing, namely that it allows one to focus on other aspects of Zen meditation. Because Zen practitioners place such an emphasis on achieving a heightened state of awareness and deep focus through deep breathing, many will choose to sit in a relaxed but still very straight position while focusing on their breathing. While practicing this form of Zen meditation, it is likely to become apparent that the practitioner's physical posture and the muscles within their body begin to relax. This is because as the practitioner concentrates on their breathing and their relaxed position, they are drawing their attention to the muscles of their body and the deeper they sit, the deeper their muscle relaxation. This is a simple demonstration of how the physical and emotional aspects of zen are interwoven together. A true Zen practitioner is never caught unaware by their physical surroundings. In fact, a true Zen Buddhism teacher will always instruct students to remain aware and mindful at all times. This type of awareness can never be obstructed, as it is a gift of enlightened awareness bestowed upon each and every one of us. This is why it is so essential for each and every one of us to seek out a competent Zen meditation teacher who can guide us through this important life changing process. When you decide to sit in a Zen posture, remember that you are doing so in order to gain access to the deep levels of cosmic mudra. The goal of sitting in this position is to access and activate the powers of cosmic mudra, which is also commonly referred to as the "way". If this is your first time sitting in a cosmic mudra meditation position, then it is recommended that you do not attempt to do so on your own. If you have any questions or concerns about this particular sitting posture, you should consult with an experienced Zen master who will be able to assist you in mastering this important and life changing technique.