Zen is simply a way for us to awaken from our slumber. It is just a way for us to focus on our present experience, living in the moment. It is simply paying attention to our actual experiences as they are: a breeze brushing through your hair, pristine water wetting your lips, a stomach ache, the laughter of children playing "seeing what you see, feeling what you feel. It is being aware of all the colors, forms, sights, sounds, touch, taste, and smell of your surroundings. .
"Zen is entering into things as they are, beyond concept and cosmology, beyond separation and duality, beyond personality, and into the intimacy and richness of this whole moment."" (Deshimaru, p6) Zen is the day to day and moment to moment method of focusing on the moment. It has spanned two thousand, six hundred years from India to China to Japan to right here.
Zen is a philosophy designed to accomplish the Buddhist goal of seeing the world just as it is, that is, without the mind being cluttered by thoughts and feelings. This attitude is called "no-mind-, a state of consciousness where thoughts come and go without leaving any trace. Unlike other forms of Buddhism, Zen holds that such freedom of mind cannot be attained by gradual practice but must come through direct and immediate insight. Zen students prepare themselves to be receptive to such answers by sitting in meditation (Japanese za-zen) while they simply observe, without thought, whatever may be happening. The Zen belief is that nature cannot be grasped by any system of fixed definitions or classifications. Reality is the world as it is, apart from any thoughts an individual has about it. One of the original teachers of Zen, Shakyamuni Buddha said to his students one day in a talk that has been recorded as the Satipatthana sutta, the Discourse on Mindfulness, that, "There is but one way to liberation and that is mindfulness. Mindfulness is paying attention with the entire body and mind to the present experience.