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4 Zen Principles That Will Change the Way You Think

https://medium.com/mind-cafe/4-zen-principles-that-will-change-the-way-you-think-814155a0cd9

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4 Zen Principles That Will Change the Way You Think
In this confusing and chaotic world, happiness sometimes seems like an impossible goal to reach. Yet as much as we lament about the troubles of our time, contentment is always within our grasp. If…

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Happiness Is Not Bought But Crafted

Happiness Is Not Bought But Crafted

Happiness isn’t a ready-made concept but comes from our own actions.

We don't need to make happiness an elusive goal to reach but can take the actions required for the art of simple living.

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The Morning Air

Morning is a time of the day that we need to be alive, awake and practice mindfulness.

Get away from all your distractions in the morning and take a deep breath, reconnecting with the immediate environment and breathing in the morning air.

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Minimalism: Discard What You Don’t Need

  • To get something new in life, we must first identify the stuff that has fulfilled its purpose and discard it with folded hands of gratitude.
  • To calm your inner turmoil, remove the outer things that unconsciously are the reason for your stress.
  • Let go of all your unnecessary material possessions as well as the physical and mental baggage you are carrying.

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Emotional Catharsis

  • To tell someone what you really feel about them is incredibly freeing.
  • Instead of holding on to unhealthy situations and relationships due to fear, obligations or ‘being in the good books’, we need to live with a light heart and should have the freedom to be at peace.
  • If we detach from people who feel toxic or a burden to us, we begin to feel truly free.

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Everything Is Just An Accumulation

Any development we see was at first just an idea. We all were born naked and did not have the possessions, the hair, the clothes, and the relationships that formed as we reached our adulthood. We started from nothing and inside nothing (zero) there lies infinity.

One has to know that one has limitless potential and start from the first principles, pressing the reset button and starting the game again to pursue the seemingly impossible.

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Be In The Present Moment

The past mostly regrets, and the future is anxiety and worry. The only thing that is real is the present moment, and the art of mindfulness delves into the present, instead of being in dreams or illusions.

Our breath connects us to the present moment, like an anchor. By focusing on our breath, we eventually become mindful by default and live in the Now.

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Everything Changes

During a Q&A session a student said to master Roshi he’d been listening to his lectures for years but couldn't understand. So he asked Roshi to reduce Buddhism to one phrase. "Everything cha...

Empty Your Cup

A university professor researching Zen sought master Nan-in, who served him tea. Nan-in poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”

Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”

Non-Judgment

A farmer was consoled by his neighbors who claimed it was bad luck his horse ran away. The farmer replied “Maybe.” The horse returned with more horses, so his neighbors said it was luck. The farmer said “Maybe.” Later a horse broke his son leg and the neighbors said it was a misfortune. The farmer said “Maybe.” The next day his son escaped conscription thanks to his broken leg and the neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. The farmer said “Maybe.”

Time goes on and good and bad are two sides of the same coin. Being aware of this allows us to find peace and happiness.

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5 Zen Principles To Live By

  1. Whatever you do, practice being in the moment.
  2. Makes sure you enjoy most moments of your day.
  3. Don’t look for happiness in other places. Find it right where...

The beautiful mess effect

The beautiful mess effect

We don't expect other people to be perfect but appreciate when people show their vulnerabilities and admit errors. Yet, we're afraid to expose our own shortcomings.

Don't waste your experiences

Things fall apart for everyone. If you're wise, you can be resourceful and use the scraps, patch yourself up, and keep going.

Professor Brené Brown states that "vulnerability is courage in you and inadequacy in me." Brown sees the imperfections in people as gifts to be worked with, not embarrassments to be hidden.

The ordinary in extraordinary

The physical evidence of a life well-lived can be a source of pride rather than shame. We don't have to hide the white hair, lined skin, scars, or extra pounds. They can be seen as signs that you persist.

When we expect perfection from everyone, including ourselves, we not only discount much of what is beautiful but create an unrealistic, restrictive, and cruel world where people's flaws are highlighted. Instead, we should highlight the beauty of what we do have, flaws and all, rather than always grasping for more.