(坐禅; Chinese; zuò chán pinyin or tso-chan Wade-Giles) is at the heart of Zen Buddhist practice. The aim of zazen is just sitting, “ “.[clarification needed] This is done either through koans, Rinzai’s primary method, or whole-hearted sitting (shikantaza), the Sōtō sect’s method. (Rinzai and Soto are the main extant Zen schools in Japan; they both originated in China as the Linji and Caodong schools, respectively.) Once the mind is able to be unhindered by its many layers, one will then be able to realize one’s true . In Zen Buddhism, zazen (literally “seated meditation”) is a meditative discipline practitioners perform to calm the body and the mind and experience insight into the nature of existence and thereby gain enlightenment (satori).
The posture of zazen is seated, with folded legs and hands, and an erect but settled spine. The legs are folded in one of the standard sitting styles (see below). The hands are folded together into a simple mudra over the belly. In many practices, one breathes from the hara (the center of gravity in the belly) and the eyelids are half-lowered, the eyes being neither fully open nor shut so that the practitioner is not distracted by outside objects but at the same time is kept awake.