About that word ‘zen’…

About that word ‘zen’. Don’t be scared of the word zen. After all, it is just a word.

The word ‘zen’ has a lot of different meanings.  In the context of me and my psychology practice, zen is simply a word that points to Awareness Practice. Although zen originated as a Japanese Buddhist practice, it isn’t religious at all. I am not trying to indoctrinate or convert you or anyone else!

Here’s some background on the word ‘zen’ in case you are curious. I worked as a linguist for 7 years and I am a confirmed word junkie.  I like to know stuff like this.

Zen is a Japanese version of ‘dhyana’ a word from the Sanskrit language. I translate it as “focus”.  Here is what Wikipedia says about that, using a few more Sanskrit words:

Dhyana is considered to be an instrument to gain self knowledge, separating maya (illusion) from reality to help attain the ultimate goal of moksha (freedom).

What this means in 2009 English is this:  Focus (dhyana, zen, aka being present or being mindful) results in Awareness (self knowledge, understanding how you work).  When Awareness is present, you can see more clearly exactly what is happening in the present moment.

When  Awareness is not present, you will most likely only be able to see what your Conditioning/Learning/Training thinks is going on, which we can refer to as maya,  illusion, or misunderstanding.

When you can clearly and calmly see both what your mind thinks  and what is actually happening, you can be Free (moksha).

That’s too simplified and too short an explanation, but I want to write a blog post, not a book.

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