Zen Buddhism emphasises zazen sitting meditation as the practice of waking up to our essential nature in this present moment and, through that awareness, appreciating the moment to moment reality of our lives. It is an experiential practice and does not emphasize conceptual learning. There is a saying in Zen that: “Paper cakes don’t satisfy hunger”.
Zen meditation can increase health and concentration, and decrease stress and anxiety. At root, however, it is about learning to live with appreciation and clarity; being present to our immediate experience, without aversion, neediness or craving.
Zazen is not a means to an end, but the ongoing practice of becoming more intimately present and engaged with our life, in all of our activities. Freedom and ease come from realizing the essentially spacious quality of mind and the fleeting quality of our physical sensations, thoughts and emotions. Realizing this fleeting quality of our desires and aversions we become increasingly able to flow with the inevitable changes and difficulties that life brings.