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Zen means living in the moment.

Zen means living in the moment.

Have you ever had that peaceful feeling of just knowing things would work out? Perhaps you were quietly thinking something over, then after a while, a sense of calm washed through you? If so, you were practicing Zen!

Zen, known as Ch’an in China, stems from Buddhism and came about when an Indian monk called Bodhidharma, took the Buddhist teachings over to China 1500 years ago. Zen centers around the idea that if people practice living in the moment, then they can find spiritual wisdom, enlightenment by looking within themselves and their own experiences, rather than through relying on religion or books. 

How does Zen work?
Have you ever tried meditation? Meditation is sitting or lying quietly for a time with eyes closed, to clear our mind of worries and day to day thoughts, in order to feel peaceful and make room for our inner knowledge, intuition to come to us. Quieting our minds in this way is often very tricky! But with practice, meditation should become easier.

Buddhism teaches us that feeling sad or worried at times, is part of being human and comes down to the fact that it’s because we care about what may happen. But Zen Buddhism believes that we can be free of this worry if we practice living a balanced, moral life and use meditation to help us better focus on living in the present!

Who was Buddha?
Many moons ago, around 2,500 years in fact, Prince Siddhartha left his luxurious palace in Nepal, in search of spiritual wisdom. On his travels, he encountered elderly people, sickness and death. All of this deeply troubled him and led him to wonder if there was any way to escape unpleasant feelings. 

For a time, the prince lived as a monk and then he tried living with barely anything at all…yet neither approach helped. He settled on a balanced approach called the Middle Way. One day, whilst sat meditating beneath a tree practicing Zen, he found enlightenment and became Buddha. Nowadays, 300 million people practice his teachings across the globe!  

By Deborah L. Caine (Whyzz writer)

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