Health Benefits of Zen & Meditation

 

Letting go is hard to do. Life has a way of constantly surprising you and forcing you to maneuver what seems to be an endless cascade of problems. Planning can seem pointless especially when you are dealing with major health issues like cancer, chemotherapy, and alopecia. The normal stress of modern day living is hard enough and tackling the next day can seem daunting; however, learning to let go and living in the present is a crucial aspect to a healthy mindset.

In Zen there is a saying that “the obstacle is the path.” So what exactly is Zen Buddhism and why should you be adopting some of the core philosophy?

According to zenbuddhism.net, “Defining Zen (禅) is like trying to describe the taste of honey to someone who has never tasted it before. You can try to explain the texture and scent of honey, or you can try to compare and correlate it with similar foods. However, honey is honey! As long as you have not tasted it, you are in the illusion of what honey is.

The same goes with Zen because Zen Buddhism is a practice that needs to be experienced, not a concept that you can intellectualize or understand with your brain. ”

While this is an open definition of Zen, anyone who practices Zen will tell you that the only way to define Zen is to live it. While Zen is a personal journey it also has a few core fundamental aspects that shape it. Letting go and living in the present is a huge concept in Zen philosophy and is achieved through the practice of meditation. If you honestly look at where you place your mental energies throughout the day, how much of it is spent planning for the future, analyzing the past, and living in the present?

Most likely the past and future would be disproportionately bigger than time spent in the present. Being present is hard to do when the curve balls of life are continually being thrown your way.  Take time to sit with yourself and live life! If I could use one cliché to describe Zen it would be to “find peace in the eye of the storm.”

 

Eight health benefits of Meditation and Zen

 

  • Meditation reduces stress.
  • It improves concentration. …
  • It encourages a healthy lifestyle.
  • The practice increases self-awareness. …
  • It increases happiness.
  • Meditation increases acceptance. …
  • It slows aging.
  • The practice benefits cardiovascular and immune health

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