I recently took a zen meditation class, without knowing much about this specific branch of meditation practice.
It was explained that with this practice, there is no goal. The objective is just to be.
To be in the present moment.
To witness the present moment.
There is no failing or no way to be bad at meditation. It’s important to remember that we are to be kind and compassionate towards ourselves when our mind wanders and simply bring it back to our breath.
I’ve sat in many different yoga classes and meditations. We always speak about coming back to our breath. However, this has never been explained to me so beautifully as it was in this zen meditation class.
Notice your breath. Notice the temperature of the air as it enters your nostrils and into your lungs. The expansion of your chest as the air fills your lungs, the inflation of your stomach, the rise of your shoulders. The tiny movements in your body as the air enters and exits your system. How your shoulders then relax, and your muscles settle into your back.
Noticing these minute movements, every aspect of them, as the surrounding sounds wash over you like a wave, brought me fully into the present moment.
Just within myself, in the present, bearing witness to life, as it was in that moment.
It is so simple, yet that moment for me was so profound that I viscerally understood in a way I never had before.
I now try to practice this as I am walking and going about my day, noticing my body, the small moments and interactions that occur around me, appreciating each one of them in that moment as they pass.