Hahahaha…. had a good laugh there… but no, the title isn’t true.
So really, what is Zen? And more importantly how can Zen helps us achieve a more peaceful state of mind?
Zen is the Oriental art of not thinking. Might sound strange and whimsical, but being a Zen practician myself…. I can only say it has brought me a more peaceful state of mind. You see, what makes Zen particular amongst the other Oriental philosophies is that Zen is purely a state of mind.
In Zen there are no Buda’s, no metaphsycial beliefs… in other words, Zen is an art open to all religions and cultural backgrounds. And the great thing about Zen is that is adresses one of the biggest problems we face nowadays: the problem of noise. We are so wrapped up by external noise, by work pressure and by our own thoughts… that we barely take time to just stop and appreciate a moment of complete silence. And by complete silence, I also mean complete mental silence.
You see… in this fashion Zen is similar to Yoga and other forms of meditation. The only difference is that Zen asks you to keep your eyes open. By leaving your mind clear of thought for only 15 minutes a day, Zen allow you to get deeply in touch with the physical world that sorrounds us all.
Besides not falling asleep, Zen ask that one keeps his eyes open in order to appreciate all colors, shadows and proportions of everyday objects in unparalleled ways. It is during these profound stages of silence that one will experience some of the following:
1. States of Phsycodelia: the mind’s own way of transcending thought. This state allows one to perceive all that sorrounds us in “new” light. Trees look different, the silouttes of the bed sheet seem to flow and an alarm clocks sound pleasant… yes, pleasant. (This one at first REALLY took my by surprise.)
2. Good Counseling: in the state of profound silence one must be open to receiving spontaneous thoughts. Why? Because sometimes these spontaneous thoughts can be clearer than sum of all other thoughts that day. These of spontaneous thoughts tend to give one great insight about important decisions and one’s inner self. Now don’t be fooled. One does not always get counseling while meditating, but when you do get it and its genuine, trust me: it’s good.
Our mind already has to constantly be thinking about solving problems, deadlines, proyects, pressures…. So it’s pleasant to be able to sit down from time to time and let your body do the thinking.
Thus Zen allows one to master the art of thinking without thinking