Zen Buddhism is, first and foremost, a practice that was uninterruptedly transmitted from master to disciple, and that goes back to the spiritual awakening of a man named Siddharta Gautama – the Buddha, 2500 years ago in India.
Zen is the experience of living from moment to moment, in the here and now. Zazen is an attitude of spiritual awakening, which when practiced, can become the source from which all the actions of daily life flow- eating, sleeping, breathing, walking, working, talking, thinking, and so on. While we are not living in the far East, there are ways to be more Zen in the everyday life of the West. Here are a few simple ways to incorporate Zen into your lifestyle. Give them a try:
Never value anything because of how much, or how little, it costs.
The things in life that mean the most, usually cost the least! Enjoy the many things that you don’t have to pay for.
Don’t expect the worst.
At minimum, stay neutral. Things are just as likely to get better as they are to get worse. Stay open to the possibility of good things.
Don’t miss an opportunity to compliment someone, say thanks, or express affection.
Think of others and pay attention to the nice things they do. Chances are you’ll find that people want to do more good things than not. So when you see that, express it! It will make a difference to someone else and in turn yourself!
Pause periodically during the day and observe your own breath.
When you watch your breath, you become aware of how to slow down. You don’t have to finish everything right now. Pay attention to your breathing.
Any time you can spend making friends or nurturing relationships is the most worthwhile way you can spend your time.
Go out to lunch with you pals more. Enjoy your experiences. Don’t just dwell on your accomplishments or worry about planned tasks. For me, the greatest gift of mindfulness is noticing yourself in a state you would like to live in so you can practice consciously bringing that state to each moment.
Notice and reflect on something in nature.
Do you ever stop and look at the trees? The flowers? The sky? By taking a moment to stop and reflect on the natural beauty that is so present in our lives, we can feel the gratitude, the happiness, and the sense of connection to our internal and external realities.
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