How Discovering Meditation in Japan Helped Me Find Peace

Source: Gaijin Pot
Practice Zazen Meditation in Japan

My mind is agitated and I am hypersensitive. One tiny thing can drag me into an ocean of intertwined thoughts and emotions until I am unable to think clearly. Being stuck at home for the last month left me with more time alone with my thoughts than I ever wanted. Meditation seemed like exactly what I needed to find some inner peace amidst the chaos.

That was until I tried it and failed.

It would usually go something like this:

“Focus on your breath,” they say. All right. “Inhale and exhale…”

“I have to plan…”

“Inhale, feel the air entering your nose… and exhale.”

“I’m pissed at my boss…”

“Inhale…”

“Oh no, I fell asleep!”

It wasn’t until I clicked with a Herb Yoga Intensive Meditation & Zen workshop in Tokyo that I finally got it.

My gateway to meditation in Japan

Meditating at Herb Yoga.

My first Herb Yoga workshop was completely nuts. After a friendly welcome from the co-founder, Imi-san, followed by two cuddly little dogs in a messy, smelly entrance, I stepped into a room hidden behind curtains. I was a little skeptical at first, but the aesthetics of the room put me at ease.

Woven bamboo yoga mats laid on the floor and paintings of the sun and enso covered the walls. Enso, a sacred symbol of Zen Buddhism, is a circle drawn in calligraphy with one swift brushstroke, symbolizing the beauty of imperfection.

Suddenly, in the middle of our meditation, one of the dogs started to snore from behind the curtain. I opened an eye to glance around the room. Nobody was moving.

For our first meditation, we chanted the Om mantra. Although I was embarrassed at first, I started to relax after a few repetitions. Our voices synchronized and I began to enjoy the harmony of …continue reading