5 Zen Principles To Live By
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“Zen mind is one of those enigmatic phrases used by Zen teachers to make you notice yourself, to go beyond the words and wonder what your own mind and being are. This is the purpose of all Zen teaching—to make you wonder and to answer that wondering with the deepest expression of your own nature.”
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It's essentially a state of being at peace with your own thoughts, and being self-aware of your place within the universe, inconsequential (and simultaneously essential).
The word Zen is both the acceptance of everything and nothing, the realization that Zen encompasses and is encompassed by everything. It also centers on a relationship with your own mind, and a higher, undefined entity outside of yourself.
The most common ways are sitting meditation (Zazen) and walking meditation (Kinhin), where direct noninteractive observation of breath and mind is practiced. The ideal scenario is to clear your mind and allow thoughts to organically rise and fall, without interacting or affecting them in any way.
There are also group sessions of intense meditation, often taking up to a week of silent, disciplined focus, interrupted only by short periods of sleep. Other forms of practice include the use of koans (stories practitioners meditate on), and Zen chanting (repetition of sutras followed by silent meditation on them).
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Education is largely the process of removing fears, be it of ideas, people or happenings. Ignorance is not bliss, as the mind will invent explanations that are far more terrible than reality.
Chaos is the natural state of the universe. There are more ways things can go wrong than ways things can go right. But chaos is a potential threat and that’s why we like orderly and ordering things.
Understand that there will always be problems in your life. Don’t expect to solve every problem or to always do the right thing. Simply do the best in your power, but don’t try so hard that you create more problems than solve.
Meditation is a place to view consciousness in its entirety, to see problems as they arise, and to watch them pass. Through it, is easier to see that all those who do bad things, small or big, are like ourselves except in different stages of development.
Knowing that and that we all need to minimize problems, achieve our desires and cooperate makes it easier to accept and deal with things as they come.
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