This is our first installment of Zen Product Reviews, where we review Zen products to help you make enlightened buying decisions.
Today we're looking at Zazen Sleep Formula, which is a new product which promises to help put you to sleep, naturally.
You're not supposed to fall asleep during Zazen. In fact they have a stick in the Zendo just for waking you up if you do decide to have a nap in the middle of a session. It's not used much anymore but it's still sitting there on the altar. Just in case.
Frequently Asked Questions
Zazen Sleep formula has a FAQ on their site which gets a few things not quite right, here then are my answers to their questions:
What is Zazen?
Zazen is sitting meditation with no object. Essentially sitting and staring at the wall trying not to think of anything. Turns out to be a lot harder than it sounds.
How long does it take for Zazen to work?
Zazen typically lasts for 40 minutes when practiced in a Zendo. Personal Zazen times may be as short as five minutes or as long as a whole day if the sitter is tolerant to pain.
What is the active ingredient in Zazen that will help me sleep?
Boredom. There's not a lot of excitement in the Zendo, except for the beginning and ending bells it's slient, the wall is painted plain white, the windows are above your line of sight so you can't look outside. It's just you and the 10,000 things in your head. Get tired of those and it's sleepy time.
Are there any side-effects?
Some people experience joy, crying, emotional release, feelings of samadi and an expanded, universal sense of self. Your mileage may vary.
Can I take Zazen even though I am taking medication?
Experienced practitioners highly recommend avoiding intoxicating substances as they tend to interfere with the correct operation of Zazen.
Where can I buy Zazen?
The dharma is free, but you'll need to rent or borrow a quiet space in which to perform Zazen, contact your local Zen Temple for more information about attending sittings in the Zendo or attending other events to become familiar with Zazen.
What is the best time to take Zazen?
Zazen is best practiced first thing in the morning. Before the sun is up and you have time to compose yourself. Well, you have time to brush your teeth and wash your face, but that's it, the Han's ringing.
How do I know Zazen is right for me?
You'll just have to try it and find out.
Has Zazen been approved by the FDA?
No, but it's approved of by Dogen.
What is the taste or flavor of Zazen?
Oh, a Koan, I'm gonna have to meditate on that!
Who should not take Zazen?
Those who are already perfectly enlightened should not require Zazen; but then, it never hurts…
Don't fall asleep during Zazen. That stick is pretty serious looking.
I bet the herbal supplement tastes awful, but I'm not trying it to find out.