What is the essence of Zen?
The essence of Zen is the practice of ‘Zazen’, or sitting meditation.
We sit in a relaxed, yet alert, comfortable position; ideally cross legged or kneeling, or we can also sit in a chair. Then we maintain as wide and accepting an awareness as we can, of everything which arises in our experience.
We are not trying to gain anything, we are not trying to change anything. We are not trying to get rid of anything. We just do our best to maintain an open awareness, like space, within which everything can arise, live and depart.
What is distinctive about this practice, is that it isn’t seeking to make the self stronger, or wiser, or enlightened.
It’s just seeking to make the self more porous so, as it were, reality gradually drenches us, like warm slow soft rain.