Zazen & Koans
Zen meditation is known as Zazen. Zazen is a powerful meditation technique, and as with all meditation, is focused on the breath. In Zazen, there is no mantra, and posture is key. The power of Zazen is in the emptiness it yields. If one seeks a state of emptiness and internal silence, Zazen is unparalleled.
Zazen is not usually taught to beginners as it is quit rigid to begin with. But once we have some experience in meditation, incorporating Zazen into our practice can be extremely beneficial.
Zen Koans are riddles/short stories that we try to solve, and they work hand in hand with Zazen. To be able to solve a riddle, we need to get out of our default state of consciousness; a new mind set is required. A strong Zazen practice helps us solve these riddles, and by solving them, we begin to transcend the mind, and better understand our essence or true nature. I can attest to how difficult they are to solve, they truly require a shift in consciousness in order to be understood.
Beyond Zazen, Zen is a way of life. The focus on emptiness naturally leads to detachment and presence. We learn how to accept, and let go, of both thoughts and emotions. In due time, the mind clears up; we become lighter, calmer, and we feel and understand what it means to be in a state of Zen, a truly unique state.