While temples in Japan remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some have begun offering online or private counselling in the practice of meditation to help people cope with stress and uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. Our Destination Asia Japan team also believe it to be the best way to release anxiety and have prepared a simple guide to zazen meditation, a form of seated meditation.
1. Prepare a flat mat or chair.
2. Sit down in a comfortable position or cross your legs and ankles on your thighs if you can.
3. Link your fingers together, then push your hands up with palms facing the ceiling. Let go and extend both hands outward as you bring them down. Extend your spine and open your chest. Bring your chin slightly in. Make sure your ears are aligned with your shoulders and your nose is directly above your navel.
4. Pay attention to your breathing. Breath through the nose slowly and deeply. Exhale for 10 – 15 seconds, or as long as possible.
5. Keep your eyes slightly open and look about 2 – 3 metres in front of you. Try not to lose your posture.
6. Relax your shoulders and fold your hands by gripping your left thumb with the right hand. Then fold the left palm over. Bring your hands down below the navel.
7. Count each exhalation from 1 – 10 and repeat. Pay attention to your breathing and feel how the air goes in and out from the body.
8. Try this just for 10 minutes.