Dear Students and friends,
Happy holiday week. As we look at studying Zen the first question we ponder is what exactly are we studying? What is Zen?
Zen is formally known as a school of the study of Mahayana Buddhism. The more important question is what are some aspects of Zen living and how do I incorporate them into my lifestyle?
I like to define “Zen” as silent space. So then my challenge simply becomes clear in order to practice Zen I need to find a way to quiet my mind mainly all that chatter in between my two ears this will be easy I thought to myself. Day #1 clear my thoughts empty the bucket okay I got this. Day #1 not so easy a task once you start practicing. Thoughts come and leave my mind things I need to complete, chores I forgot to finish it goes on and on. “Shhsh” I tell my mind ” be quiet already” I stay seated ion my yoga mat closing my eyes tighter as if that is going to help any.
Day number two “Oh great!”, reading my guidelines I have just learned that besides my normal exercise routine in order to succeed at “Zen” I need to have self-discipline on a stronger level and sit for periods of time. At first I freaked out “maybe I’ll do this another time” , after all I’ve got tons of other yoga related things I can study this summer… I put the book down and go outside to my yoga mat. Mimi cat is stretched out next to me on my large round yoga mat next to the pool. The birds were out chirping away even the woodpecker was up early. The squirrels were out in full force chasing each other around the trees. The sun peaked through the screen above me and warmed the cat’s fur as he rubbed against my feet stretching in his normal downward paw position all 22 lbs. I sat there quietly enjoying the warm sunshine of our Sunday morning routine together. Then that is when it hit me, I am already practicing Zen, this is Zen. My decision had already been made for me. I will make this effort to get to know myself and my inner abilities better. I will study Zen beliefs.