Zen is Practiced for Many Reasons
By Maezumi, Roshi
For some it is a means to establish better physical and emotional health. For others it leads into the realization of their own (non-Buddhist) religion or philosophy, while for some, Zen practice is the living experience of what Shakyamuni taught. Practice, like regular exercise builds strength, gracefulness and self-confidence to meet the situations we all face every day. It also provides a laboratory in which we can continuously test the adequacy of our beliefs. Our whole practice rests on a physical base, just as our lives begin physically. First we learn to bring our bodies into harmony. Once that happens, out breathing naturally settles into a harmonious cycle. And as the body and breath settle down and no longer create disturbances, the mind itself is given an opportunity to settle into its own smooth and natural functioning. The racket and babble of the noisy mind gives way to clarity and naturalness of the true self.