Zen philosophy and Zen practice has a very synergistic relationship with hypnosis. In the traditions of Zen we hear about “Zen Mind” and in hypnotherapy the attention is always led back to the mind. No matter what path we take in life, in the end, we simply all want to be at peace. Some spend ten years in a Zen monastery to work to attain this and others simply enjoy relaxing into the hypnotic state or using hypnotherapy to clear the blocks to their awareness of peace. The real question then might be, “What is the difference between a Zen master and someone who has simply gone through intensive hypnotherapy?”
Zen practice originates out of the meditation traditions in India where it is still to this day known as Dhyan. When the practice migrated over to China it became known as Chan. When it eventually found its way to Japan it became known as Zen. Those who were drawn to this path appreciated the simplicity of the practice where much of the extras of religion and philosophy were stripped away into the beauty of just sitting, just walking, just eating and just being.
In the end, in Soto Zen, there is simply a state known as Shinkintaza, which means “just sitting.” To a beginner this may seem rather easy, yet once Zen practice begins we realize that we cannot just sit; rather we end up worrying, planning, and having to sit face-to-face with our very own selves, which many find to be very unpleasant indeed. This is where we discover that we do not have “Zen Mind” but rather that we have a rather neurotic mind.
A Zen master would simply be someone who has worked through this inner turmoil to finally be at a state of peace. In this peace there is an awakening to who we truly are. The goal of enlightenment simply becomes to discover who we already are and where we have always been. For many this become a rigorous path of 10, 20 or even 30 years of intense spiritual practice.
In hypnotherapy we are acutely aware of something called our subconscious mind. This is our emotional mind and therefore is very much connected to the proverbial heart. In this model the subconscious is the root of the conscious – or the heart is the root of the mind. Therefore whatever the heart feels the mind will talk about. The mind will talk and talk to try to find a way for the heart to feel better.
Zen practice does indeed lead us there, yet when we combine a simple daily sitting practice (known as Zazen) with the powerful transformational nature of hypnotherapy, then we can transform our hearts and minds that much quicker. There are qualities developed in Zen practice that people using hypnosis do not develop and there are shifts that occur in hypnotherapy that Zen practitioners do not necessarily achieve. Join us this Monday Night at 7:00pm at www.tfioh.com where we explore this theme in detail and where class participants get to experience the peace that comes from meditation, hypnosis and a quiet and simple heart.