Zazen: 1 definition
Zazen means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.
General definition (in Buddhism)Source: Shambala Publications: General
Zazen Jap. (Chin., tso-ch’an), lit., za, “sitting” and zen, “absorption”; meditative practice taught in Zen as the most direct way to enlightenment. Zazen is not meditation in the usual sense, since meditation includes, at least initially, the focusing of the mind on a “meditation object” (for example, a mandala or a graphic representation of a bodhisattva) or contemplating abstract properties (for instance, impermanence or compassion). Zazen, however, is intended to free the mind from bondage to any thought-form, vision, thing, or representation, however sublime or holy it might be.
Even such aids to zazen practice as kōans are not meditation objects in the usual sense; the essential nature of a kōan is paradox, that which is beyond conception.
In its purest form zazen is dwelling in a state of thought-free, alertly wakeful attention, which, however, is not directed toward any object and clings to no content. If practiced over a long period of time with persistence and devotion, zazen brings the mind of the sitter to a state of totally contentless wakefulness, from which, in a sudden breakthrough of enlightenment, the sitter can realize their own true nature or buddha-nature, which is identical with the nature of the entire universe.
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