It’s something I often say – “seeking zen.” In fact, it was almost the name of this blog.
I don’t mean I’m striving for enlightenment.
It means I’m not striving. I’m not straining.
I’m moving. Smoothly. Slowly. Water finding its channel.
Towards a place of balance. “Zen.” Peace.
Not a place lacking emotion, thought, or action.
But a place where feelings, words, and motion stem from a balanced center.
Balance is dynamic. Mindfulness is constant.
As soon as I stop seeking, the zen vanishes, because I’ve stopped paying attention to where it is.
I am always, always seeking zen. Are you?
This is an exercise in mindfulness.
Think back to the most recent time you felt love. Not lust, not only love for a partner – just love.
Love for the beauty of the day. Love for your pets. Love for your family. Love for the earth. Love for hope. Love for an idea or a concept. Love for a spiritual path. Love for life. Love for yourself.
Focus on that memory. Remember that feeling, that love. Distill it, in your mind, to its purest essence.
Now, start noticing when you feel that throughout the day. Stop and enjoy it. You can even say outloud or think to yourself, “Feeling love.”
Learn to recognize love and see what else you start recognizing. Gratitude? Happiness? Contentment?
Try it and see. And tell me what happens.
When you’re physically hungry, eat.
When you’re full, stop eating.
When you’re not okay with how you feel after you eat, eat different things.
When you’re sleepy, rest or move.
When you’re tired, sleep.
When you’re energetic, move.
When you’re hurting, stop and seek comfort.
When you’re stiff, stretch gently.
When you’re sick, feed your body nutrients and rest.
When you’re thirsty, drink water.
At all times, listen. Be mindful.
Your body knows what it wants and needs.
It’s your job, as its consciousness, to fulfill those wants and needs.
Learn from the cat sprawled in the sunlight how to relax.
Learn from the dog who leaps up to greet each new arrival how to share joy.
Learn from the old woman watering her garden how to nurture your purpose.
Learn from the soldier what mortality feels like and what you’re willing to die for.
Learn from the crying child how to be brave enough to express your wants and needs.
Learn from the wind how to move.
Learn from the mountain how to be still.
Learn from the water how to flow and take any shape, yet remain true to yourself.
Learn from the snake how to shed your old, outgrown skin and cultivate a new one, even if you’re raw for a little while.
Learn from the hunter and the hunted how every action and reaction is useful and how balance is kept.
Learn from the seasons how to spiral through your evolution and revisit the same places a little differently each time.
Learn from the stars how to shine across the greatest, darkest distance.
Learn from the sun how to rise and how to set again.
Learn from the moon how to share your light with the world according to how you face it each day.
Learn from the world how to live, and you will not go astray.