Pursuing happiness leads to inner inquiry about the nature of our mind – our thoughts, emotions and mental patterns.
Soon we realize that thinking about it and even understanding it will not change much and practice is needed. The Buddhist practice, the outcome of long years of exploration, is meditation.
Zazen (sitting Zen), also called Shikantaza (Just sit), is the main practice in the Zen tradition.
In Zazen there are no mind objects to focus on, no mantras, no visualizations, no praying involved, just here and now, experiencing reality itself. Just sitting, doing nothing, slowly we open up to a new experience. Sounds from the outside, physical feelings and inner pleasantness, all emerge naturally when we manage to let our mind calm down.
At these moments, in the gap between the thoughts, when the mind goes back to its boundless empty space, inside and outside become one and we meet reality.