Re: Zazen necessary for training
To be fair to the original poster, and to answer Stan's question precisely, "zazen" doesn't necessarily mean anything other than "seated meditation," a practice that can be found in a variety of Buddhist sects, Taoism, Confucian practice, Shinto, and some forms of contemplative Christianity.
I'm glad that you have found other methods that you find effective in reaching what you believe to be the goals of zazen, having found that practice not helpful.
Personally, I don't think there is a one-size-fits-all approach. If there were, the world would be a much less interesting place.
If you had settled for zazen, we might not have your sculptures, and that would be a damn shame.