Having practice zen meditation for over 20 years I know that it has changed my life. It has helped to lower my anxiety and stress level. I am much more aware of the stupid thinking and belief systems that prevent me from living a happier life. In the past couple of years I am very aware of how my emotions change from minute to minute that has helped me not to be so reactive to the events in my life. Meditation is shaping me into being more compassionate and less judgmental of others.
Zen meditation has helped me to not get caught up in images, concepts and ideas because its primary focus is on the breath or koan work. It helps to quiet the mind and eliminate as much as possible getting caught up in my thoughts or emotions. It is about emptying the mind, but this does not mean suppressing my thoughts or feelings. I simply recognize they are there, but do not give energy to them, going back to the breath or koan. I pay more attention to what is happening right now than dwelling on the past or planning for the future. Hopefully, in the process of doing zazen I can live my life in a more neutral zone without getting caught up in how I think or perceive life to be. It teaches me to go with the flow of life rather than try to make things happen. This practice helps me to face my inner demon and letting them go so I can live as a free being .