Zen and NA Programs

Zen: Definition: According to Zen Buddhism, it is possible for a person to attain enlightenment in this life through the practice of meditation and development of mental and spiritual discipline. Zen was originally developed in China but it was later stressed by Japanese Buddhists such as Eisai and Dogan. Zen simply means “meditation” and is the Japanese equivalent of the original Sanskrit term dhyana. The emphasis on meditation in Zen Buddhism is often misunderstood by people in the West. It isn’t simply a matter of sitting still – relaxing bubble baths while sipping green tea cannot qualify as proper Zen meditation. Instead, meditation is a rigorous practice designed to reveal things to you about yourself which are necessary for the purpose of attaining enlightenment. By releasing conscious, directed thinking, you allow random, unrequested thoughts to arise to awareness – a torrent of ideas which reveals a chaotic universe normally hidden from us. It requires courage to face such thoughts and it requires real effort to become detached from it all, learning how our own thoughts are a source of our suffering which must be let go in order to achieve genuine peace and harmony.(About.com)

Natural Awakenings Programs: A similar process to Zen but spoken and expressed through a western paradigm. It also parallels the spiritual awakening practices of our Native American and worldwide indigenous cultures.  NA is presented to open the minds of our western indoctrinated travelers.  Those seeking inner peace even in this mechanistic, technological society can find a sense of inner nirvana by making the biological and philosophical connection to nature’s way.   Cleansing the self by recognizing and accepting all aspects of self and its relevance to the function of natural processes are possible.  The process includes meditation as well as expressive practices to cleanse the body of old pain.  Brenda uses play, and Michael uses paradox, like Eisai used his riddles, to divert the mind. NA also provides didactic information to assist in the journey as well as a safe natural forum for expression of old pain and doubt.  It is usually presented in a rustic natural setting but can be used in any environment because of the miracle we call imagination. If you wish to know more contact us through www.naturalawakeningsprograms.com. Michael Rebel LMHC


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