Zen is a form of Buddhist practice that emphasizes direct experience, meditation, and the cultivation of mindfulness. Originating in China, it has since spread to Japan and other parts of the world. In Zen, practitioners seek insight and spiritual awakening by letting go of conceptual thinking and immersing themselves in the present moment. Meditation, known as zazen, is a central Zen practice that involves sitting still and observing your breath and mind. Zen teachings often use paradoxical descriptions called koans to encourage deep reflection and transcend normal dualistic thinking. Zen emphasizes integrating meditation and mindfulness into daily life to promote inner peace, clarity and understanding.