February 4

5 Simple Lessons to find your Zen

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland flag icon
Reading time 3 minutes

It doesn’t matter if you’re an atheist, devout follower of your faith, an agnostic, or anywhere in between—there’s wisdom to be learned from the world’s religions. Here are some of the most important, universally applicable teachings from sacred texts everyone would benefit from learning. Putting aside differing beliefs—about the afterlife, the nature of the divine, and religious rituals—we can all glean life lessons from ancient traditions. Here are some of the most notable ones from Zen Buddhism.

Sit Down

The Buddha said there are four ways to meditate. Sitting, standing, lying down, and walking. So, by “sitting down,” what I’m saying is marking out a time and a place and give your body as well as your mind that space and that period of time dedicated to exploring the wisdom of your body, heart, and mind.

Shut up

Meditation is one of those words that has too many definitions, basically it only means “doing something with your mind.” That “doing something” may be useful, and it may not. Among those kinds of meditation that can be called useful as far as finding our heart’s goal is concerned, the range of possibilities remains large. However, they share some commonalities. Learning to be quiet is the most important thing. Although there’s a critical point in understanding what “quiet” means. There are those who say being quiet is stopping the mind. And, yes, there is a sense in which this is true. That phrase, at is truest, is a pointing to something about our consciousness, how we can meet our thoughts and feelings. But its an invitation into something, not an assertion to step away from something. Too many people hear these words, sometimes even say them to others meaning physically stopping the movement of the mind. That is a mistake. The invitation is to see the thoughts arise, and not follow them.

Pay attention

Bringing one’s whole body consciousness to the matter is the heart of the practice. This is a difficult thing. The mind wanders. We are filled with regrets and longings. We plan. We fret. We scheme. So, here’s the secret ingredient. Our invitation is into the heart of curiosity. The practice is to notice what’s going on, whether it is regret or longing while adding nothing to the fire. Just notice. And. Be curious without entanglements in the content of the thought. Thoughts rise. You don’t have to follow them. But, notice. Be curious. That curiosity can be a burning coal in our gut. It can be diluted and simply hanging a hint in the air in an open minded, mind like the sky, sort of way. Just notice/be curious. Is that one? Is that two? Pay attention.

Notice the connections

Doing this you will learn much about yourself. Sometimes our thoughts are filled with desire. Sometimes our thoughts are overtaken by resentment, anger, hatred. Sometimes we obsess with an idea, seeing how it has put everything into place. And then as we watch we see how these thoughts are themselves insubstantial, they rise, they try to take us with them, but if we let them go as they rise, we open doors. The invitation is to not stop here or there. Bring your curiosity to the rising and falling of your mind. And then the next iteration of your mind. And the next. Hold on to nothing. Just notice. Just be curious. Perhaps you will at some point notice how vague and permeable the boundaries of your mind and life are. Keep looking. Where is the solid line? Keep looking. When do you and another in fact separate? Notice how cause and effect relate. Be curious. How are these two things different? How are these two things one? Be curious. Is there another way, as well?

Get up and do something

I’ve noticed how often this step is missed by spiritual practitioners. One of my favorite stories about the Buddha is how after achieving his great insights into the nature of things, resolving his pain, and finding the wise heart, Mara the incarnation of chaos whispered in his ear, “you have won liberation. Go, now, and retire to a cave and enjoy the bliss of the cosmos for the rest of your natural days and then with your last breath pass into the great empty.” You can call this the Buddha’s last temptation. Now, this can be missed because he had been a renunciant, and he continued as a monk after his awakening. But at the heart of the matter, what he did was return to the world with his saving message. He spent the next forty years of that natural life guiding, giving counsel, pointing to the deeper matters, and the larger possibilities.

We sit for half an hour, an hour, whatever. Perhaps we engage in intensive periods of training. A week. Three months. A decade. We walk with a guide and we explore the fundamental matters of mind and heart. If we are just a little lucky we discover our heart’s longing. The great way becomes no different than our own.

And, and this is critical at some point the fullness of our opened heart and mind contains within it an invitation to return to the world in one felicitous phrasing, with bliss bestowing hands. How we do this is going to be different at different times in our lives and within different lives. There is no judgment here. The simple call is to open our hearts and minds and to respond as is appropriate. Life a box and its lid.

As natural as natural can be.

Comments

Leave your questions here

To write a comment you must
or
Services
Category filter
Concern filter
Type filter
Sort
 
All categories
Art Therapy
$50 USD
Artist Teacher Workshop Or Tutoring

“Life Force” guiding our history, our body and spirits. Self portrait art, life drawing from the live model, gesture, and plein air painting. And extended cont…

Bryan Prillwitz
United States of America flag icon
Tarot Reading
$100 USD
Timeline Reading

EGYPTIAN TAROT READINGS using unique methods developed by Nelise Carbonare, a Brazilian healer with more than 40 years of experience in tarot consultations, as…

Nelise Carbonare
United States of America flag icon
Tarot Reading
$120 USD
THE SYNERGY OF THE PYRAMID

THE SYNERGY OF THE PYRAMID focuses on a specific relationship: One side for the consultant and one for their partner. (the partner does not need to be present …

Nelise Carbonare
United States of America flag icon
Tarot Reading
$10 USD
Pick one card

Many questions can be answer with just one Arcane.

Do you want to try?

Nelise Carbonare
United States of America flag icon
Personal Development Coaching
$50 USD
Spiritual Coaching - Removing Energy Blocks - Expansion

> “Who looks outside dreams. Who looks inside awakens.” Jung

Spiritual coaching is about moving you into a profound state of empowerment and involution m…

Kimla Rose (Kim Desrosiers)
United States of America flag icon
Life Coaching
$10 USD
Life Purpose and Soul Wisdom

What is your deeper truth, your deeper knowing, your MOJO, your deepest desires, those feelings that you can’t explain but that are so pure and so clear…or may…

Anna Beale
United States of America flag icon
Wellness Coaching
$10 USD
Your Missing Manual for Health & Life!

Are you constantly reading books, blogs and listening to podcasts trying to figure out what to do to be healthy?

With so much conflicting information out ther…

Pamela Malo
United States of America flag icon
Nutritional Therapy
$150 USD
Nutritional Therapy Consultation

Hi my name is Aria and I am the founder of Heal with Nutrition. I am a registered Nutritional Therapist and a Naturopath who has a passion on Nutrition and Hea…

Aria Alexandrou
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland flag icon
Tarot Reading
$10 USD
THOTH AND HERMETIC DECKS READING

With a deep knowledge of hermeticism and being introduced to the kabbalah tradition of the emanation process from the tree of life, I provide a deep insight co…

James Marchiori
Ireland flag icon
Personal Development Coaching
$55 USD
The Bridge to Your Desired Life

This is were you get real help with your struggles and life challenges. As life gets harder to cope with, we tend to look for external ways to get through. And…

Mina Mikhail
United States of America flag icon
Naturopathy
$10 USD
Intake Consult

short introduction consult to Integrative Medicine

Femke Neervoort
Netherlands flag icon
Career Coaching
$300 USD
Reset Coaching and Mentoring Programme

12 weeks of bi-weekly 90 minutes 1:1 Coaching and Mentoring. Total cost USD1800 (6x90minutes career coaching and mentoring session)

Are you returning to work …

Carla Martins
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland flag icon
Personal Development Coaching
$120 USD
Spiritual Life Coach Session-Personalized Session

Personalized Sessions

Because Everyone Is Unique

Client-centered sessions based on the area of focus requested by the client.

Each session is a LIVE Sessio…

Deborah Lucero
United States of America flag icon
Reiki
$55 USD
Guidance, Inspiration & Healing

This type of session is a favorite among many of my clients, as it is often times one of the smoothest way to address a challenge to reach a happier and health…

Mina Mikhail
United States of America flag icon
Mediumism
$10 USD
Psychic Readings

I specialize in love, past present future, future, past life, general, tarot, dream interpretation, specific, social, and career readings! Book today for clari…

Holly
United States of America flag icon
Life Coaching
$399 USD
1-on-1 Coaching

The journey started with our discovery call, and You decided: ” I’m ready! Let’s do this!”.

We will engage in 1-on-1 coaching sessions for 90 minutes. In this…

Carla Martins
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland flag icon
Ascension
$88 USD
Ascension Mentor Support

In this session, we come together with similar to a healing session but face to face.

We talk about what issues you are facing at the moment and we delve deep…

Claire C.
Australia flag icon
Spiritual Healing
$177 USD
Energy Healing

I am honored to assist you with intuitive channeled energy healings that support and nurture you on a physical level as well soul and energetic level, each ses…

Claire C.
Australia flag icon
Reiki
$375 USD
Usui Reiki 1st Degree Course

FIRST DEGREE COURSE - The ultimate Reiki course.

Have you ever wondered if you can heal? Have you felt a burning desire to help others? Then you’ve come to th…

Step Into Your Light - Christina Moore
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland flag icon
Life Coaching
$10 USD
Hand Analysis - Startup Session

What does a hand analysis do for me? ​

You will understand yourself and your life purpose. ​You will understand the roots of your triggers and reactionary be…

Brent Bruning, Master Hand Analyst
Switzerland flag icon
Shamanism
$10 USD
Sample Akashic Records Reading for Your Burning Issue

I connect to your Akashic Records and listen to what your guides want to bring to your conscoius attention at this time. Perhaps, it is an insight into why you…

Olga Aydınoğlu
Turkey flag icon
Shamanic Healing
$300 USD
Shamanic Healing Art

What is Shamanic Healing Art?

It is a physical artwork (usually a pastel drawing) I make for you based on the outcome of our online session. This artwork will…

Olga Aydınoğlu
Turkey flag icon
Shamanic Healing
$70 USD
Heal to say "No"

A limits and boundaries shamanic healing session to help you heal relevant wounds and traumas from this and/or other lifetimes, let go of false beliefs, judgem…

Olga Aydınoğlu
Turkey flag icon
Shamanic Healing
$70 USD
Writer's Block Shamanic Healing Session

Before the Session

I do my pre-meditation to find out the main reasons for your writer’s block. (This happens psychically, where I generally just need your na…

Olga Aydınoğlu
5
Turkey flag icon

Related Articles