Zen & Buddhism Q&As

What are the benefits of Zazen?

If you practice Zazen, it’s very likely that you’ll become softer, kinder, less reactive, more generous and you’ll have a greater sense of being a part of the whole, which in turn you’ll experience as something intimate and vital, rather than ‘stuff’, ‘out there’.

But the purpose of Zazen is not to perfect the self. The purpose of Zazen is to decentre the self, so that the endless calculation of plusses and minuses, working out constantly where’s our advantage or disadvantage, is no longer central to this life.

In an age of spiritual materialism, that’s quite difficult to understand because we only often want to embark on a practice if it’s promising something for us; enlightenment, for example.

But Zazen promises nothing for us, other than to open us out to all beings, like an unclenching hand.

More detailed teachings on our state in Zazen