Updated: May 6, 2018
I am certain many of you have heard of the phrase “Finding Your Zen,” but what exactly does that mean? The word Zen originated in a Japanese school of Mahayana Buddhism which emphasized the value of meditation and intuition. Meditation is simply focused concentration on a doctrine, teaching or text. Essentially, meditation is having a deep thought. We do it all the time. I am sure someone has had to call your name several times before you responded because your mind was so focused on something. Intuition is the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning. I was taught that intuition is the spiritual connection to the center of your soul. It’s the window to your soul that always tries to steer you in the right direction. It has sometimes been called your gut feeling. The use of the word Zen, across various cultures, has come to mean, peace, calmness, and deep thought.
In our fast pace world, it is difficult to find peace, be calm, or even discover a deep thought. One way to find your Zen is to simply make time.
Make Time. - Take 10 minutes
You don’t need a lot of time, 10 minutes is very good. Locate a quiet space like a closet or a bathroom. Once you get to that quiet place, make a concerted effort to relax your mind and body. For that moment when you just can’t get away, find a song that takes you to your place of peace. Often hearing that special song can help take you to your place of Zen. There may be times when you will just have to think on your song. We all have a song that just the thought of it takes us to a special place. Find a song for your Zen moment.
Another way to find your Zen is to simply breathe (take a breath). Take deep breaths and exhale slowly. This releases stress, clears your mind, and adds oxygen to your brain so you can think better.
I found my Zen in the presence of a triune God. I was raised to believe that the Creator of the Universe designed me in His image. That makes me a physical being, tied to a spiritual soul that can tap into the peace of a Holy God. In God’s presence, I find peace and calmness. Deep thought for me is prayer. As a result, whatever arrives in life, I know how to find my Zen.
So what are we to do with this new discovery of Zen? In our fast pace world, advancements in technology were designed to make our lives easy. Many of us are so attached to what is going on in the world that we use our mini computers disguised as phones to ensure we stay plugged into the tumult.
Your Zen can help you:
Focus on the moment. By focusing on the moment you can find peace in it. By concentrating on the moment you are not in the woes of the future or the past. Have you ever noticed how carefree and engrossed children are in play? That is because they are in the moment. Focus on the moment. Be present. It is a gift.
Be deliberate. Be deliberate about making time in your day to sit still. This is good for your health, both mentally and physically. We work hard, we strive, we struggle. Frankly, we tend to burn ourselves out. Remember to take time for you. Take a break, mental health days are important to function in everyday life. Remember you are worth it!
Remove distractions at least 30 minutes before you go to bed. When I remove the distractions from around me, I feel more relaxed. My brain registers that it is time to go to sleep and I can sleep comfortable without the weight of the world barreling down on me. Try turning off the phone, the TV, or the computer. Embracing your new-found Zen will encourage you to remove these distractions
From now on when you hear the phrase “Finding Your Zen,” you will understand what that means, you will know how to find it, and you will know what to do with it. Be patient with yourself as you walk through the process.
Peace be with you.