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Zen in daily life

  • October 12, 2019
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– a work in progress

Zen in daily life

Zen is a state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of body and mind. Zen is a way of being and a state of mind. Zen means seeing beyond the illusion or distortion of our thoughts.

I think that I am at stage zero in my journey to living the principles of Zen. Zero being the stage where I have looked at my messy office and the way I try to multi-task (pretty unsuccessfully, by the way) and then compared to how I might live my life if I applied a bit of Zen and thought hmmm – should be worth a try.

So, thanks to an informative site: zenhabits.net I now know how to live like a Zen Monk. All I need to do is:

1.    Do one thing at a time.

Great Idea. Easier said than done for a Sagittarian!. For those that have peeked at the standard characteristics of us Saggies, you will know we like to fire off our arrows all over the place and that for us the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence (because the neighbor has been watering, of course).

2.    Do it slowly and deliberately.

Put your mind completely on the task at hand and take your time. Again, great idea if you haven’t left the task to the last minute and you are now facing a deadline. If this article seems a little rushed it is because it needs to be ready for the next newsletter. This is an un-Zen article about Zen or, do as I say not as I do!

3.    Do it completely. Don’t move on to the next task until you have finished.

Again – see Sagittarius. This article is being written in two stages (at least) because I want to see the new Dr. Strange movie starting in 50 minutes!

4.    Do Less. Without being lazy, lose the unending task list.

Ah, I am going to need some help with this one. Anybody reading this who has their own business will need some help with this one!

5.    Put space between things.

Related to the last one but is a way of managing the schedule to ensure you have time to complete tasks – allowing for a more relaxed timetable.

If you finish early, maybe you could build in a nap, perhaps?

6.    Develop rituals.

If it is important enough to have its own ritual, then it is important enough to be given your entire attention.

I’ve made a start. I have a ritual in which I get up in the mornings and stagger to the bathroom. Beyond this is still a work in progress.

7.    Designate time for certain things.

Bathing, work, cleaning… Bathing is sorted – happens shortly after the waking up bit. The rest needs work.

8.    Devote time for sitting.

Sitting in meditation (zazen) is one of the most important parts of a Zen Monk’s day. Actually, I have this sorted as my own meditation has pride of place as the most important part of the day. So big tick for this one.

9.    Smile and serve others.

Zen monks spend part of the day in service to others. I fully support this idea and have nearly achieved my badge.

10.    Making cleaning and cooking a meditation.

Aside from zazen cooking and cleaning are two of the most exalted parts of a Zen monk’s day. Cooking as a meditation I can relate to, cleaning not so much. Let’s say I am striving for 50% on this one, after which I will reevaluate.

11.    Think about what is necessary.

There is little in a Zen monk’s life that isn’t necessary – no closet full of shoes (Margie has failed here- big time!), the latest in trendy clothes, iPhones gadgets….

I think I can say 100% fail if I am honest. I think what they are saying is that being a hoarder and a Zen monk are mutually exclusive. This might be a permanent fail for this household.

12.    Live simply.

Well, this is a run on from number 11. If something isn’t necessary you can probably live without it. But where to draw the line?

Conclusion .

I am never likely to be a Zen monk in this lifetime but many of the principles resonate with me. So I have decided to aspire to be a Zen work in progress. I have 2 of our new Zen Stones on my desk so I have constant reminders of my quest.

Wishing you a Zen day,

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