U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Scott Jackson

There is no surprise that the samurai class in Japan took to the practice of Zen meditation. It blended nicely with the needs and values of their militaristic lifestyle, particularly in dealing with the issue of facing death, but also more broadly with its inclination toward orderliness, self-discipline and focus —  very useful tools in training for the martial arts.

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Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

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And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.

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U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Sara Csurilla

To those who do it there is a self-evident answer to that question: it works. How it works, why it works and for whom it works varies, but anyone who seriously practices zen meditation on a daily basis can usually experience the following: less stress, more focus and a general sense of well-being.

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