Americans tend to live the opposite of a Zen lifestyle. We rush, multi-task, complicate, continuously move, crowd, and accumulate. We’re driven by calendars and to do lists. But even if we cannot fully embrace a Zen lifestyle, we can benefit from devoting regular time to live more like a monk. It could be a day, a week, an hour a day, a week a year, but any time you devote to the following these Zen Principles will bring you more peace and less stress.
- Devote time to sitting. In the life of a Zen monk, sitting meditation (zazen) is one of the most important parts of his day. Meditation is practice for learning to be present. Sit silently for at least 10 minutes a day.
- Live simply and have only what is necessary. There is little in a Zen monk’s life that isn’t necessary. He doesn’t have a closet full of shoes or the latest in trendy clothes. He doesn’t have the latest gadgets, cars, televisions, or iPhone.O.K., well actually he does have an iPhone, as we discovered on our trip to Buhtan. But that’s all he has, I swear! He’s wearing worn leather sandals and a piece of red cloth for goodness sakes!!!! Let’s get back to the point: less is more. Give away the extra kitchen gadgets and sports equipment. They are cluttering your house and your mind.
- Do one thing at a time. When you’re eating, just eat. When you’re gardening, just garden
- Do it slowly, deliberately, and completely. Rushing takes the Zen out of the moment. Take your time. Move slowly and deliberately. Focus your mind. First cut the peppers, then cut the onions. Don’t move on to the next task until you are finished with the first one.
- Do less. If you fill your day with tasks, you will rush from one to the other. The truth is, almost every project can wait and if you did less, the world wouldn’t end.
- Put space between things. Don’t schedule appointments and tasks close together — leave room to finish and breathe in between.You’re wearing out the tread on your tires by never letting them cool down. Small changes make a big difference. So whenever you can, “Live Like a Buddhist Monk”.
Want to live more like a Buddhist Monk? My team and I can support you with Life Coaching that will help you incorporate these principles into your life. Contact me today for a Coaching Consultation.