You can do a lot of research on Zen on the Internet, about its history, its Buddhist background and the theory. This is about Zen itself.
What is Zen? Zen is not a religion, it is an attitude of mind, a state of consciousness, a path that leads to the self. Over time, we all build our subjective reality. It's based on what we call knowledge and memories and experiences. Information that you have learned is accompanied by information that we acquire through education and the media. Probably the most lands hardly questioned in Oberstübchen and we linked to our personal causality. Depending on mood and situation, we more or less selectively resort to it.
The first thing we learn in Zen is to incorporate a "mirror" that reflects us, that we are not what we think, but that they are just our thoughts, no more and no less. Zen gives us freedom because we can stop being controlled by the ego without being asked. The self awakens from the depths of nothingness. From now on, we are able to activate the mirror, but not always more often.
In the second step, we "strengthen" ourselves by bringing body and mind closer together, concentrating on a deep, calm breathing in the hara, dedicating our center about a hand's breadth below the navel. Of course we were allowed to think about it again and again, but recognize it, observe it and let it go again. A sense of grounding arises. It is also called meditation, whose goal is not to chase after the illusion of an empty head. Incidentally, you can always do that everywhere. Silence makes it easier, but it is not absolutely necessary. A bus or train ride, a park bench, an office chair, ... the place is secondary.
In the third step we explore our body. We can focus on the pulse, even slow it down with practice. From the earlobe to the big toe, there is much to discover. Then we perceive ourselves as an organism that ends with the skin surface. The whole thing is already pretty exciting and relaxing but is even more interesting.
In the fourth step we direct our attention inwards with all the senses and then outwards. Listening, smelling, seeing, feeling, but without naming things. First separated after sensory perception then combined. Initially also direction (front, back, left, right, up, down) later also rearranged. The boundary between inside and outside is now more and more mixed until it finally dissolves. Our mind is free now.
In the fifth step, we now detach ourselves from the material and expand into the space and withdraw back into our midst. It is now necessary to be careful not to drift off into a dream world.
The sixth step is emptiness.
The seventh step is presence.
The eighth step is a deep realization.
The ninth step is ...
Zen brings us into the present, the time of our existence. We live in a period but are only here and now.
In Aikido, we work with Zen by discarding the ego's delusions and dedicating ourselves to our self as the center of the moment. There is a huge potential in each of us that can be unleashed. First, we have to learn to let go and relax, then to center ourselves, to position ourselves, then we can expand, but without the intention to make a difference.
Zen is a way that goes for itself. You can not force or want anything. Practicing will open possibilities by yourself or not. The important thing is that you have no intention of reaching a goal.
Zen creates consciousness, relationships rearrange, much becomes clearer, subjective and illusions fade. We can get closer to the truth through Zen.
Zen opens the heart. We learn through practice that everyone is the product of his subjectivity and often can not do otherwise than he does. So be it. Poor pig!
Zen can scare us as we learn to do it without questioning it.
Zen can give us confidence, because we put our value structure on a stable foundation and no longer fear consequences.
Zen is exciting. Try it!