everyday zen

A couple of months ago I was running a workshop during which I talked about a situation I had found myself in where I had observed myself, my reactions, and those of others in a detached manner. I was completely fascinated by these humans being – albeit that one of them was me. A couple of the ladies on the workshop commented that they would love to be able to observe a situation and not feel emotional about it, or to be caught up in it. Sometimes it’s really beneficial to be able to detach ourselves and not react at that moment in time.

I have decided to think about this as bringing an element of Everyday Zen to the party!

It’s something that I think I’ve developed gradually over many years, through much meditation, personal development, spiritual awareness, and also just being fascinated by people and how they behave. And you can’t ‘people watch’ if you get involved. Don’t get me wrong,  I can’t always stay detached, I’m only human you know!

But their comments stayed with me and the subject cropped up again during another conversation with a friend about developing a good sense of self awareness, and understanding how many of our reactions are either hormonally driven, or quite animalistic. Despite our evolvement, we are still intrinsically linked to our basic primal needs for safety, shelter, food, and pro-creation, so some things, we just seem to have no control over.

But if we can try to adopt a little ‘Everyday Zen’ then we can observe when primal instincts, or hormones are taking over our own behaviour and that of others, and perhaps be a little more understanding, and avoid the odd moment of conflict.

When I am on to something it keeps cropping up in my life in a variety of ways until I get it or acknowledge its importance. (Even now, while writing this, a particular bird flew overhead – 3 actually – that I always see when I am on to a truth that works for me, confirming that I am in the flow!) So I wasn’t particularly surprised when… okay, I was still surprised, but that’s because I still love to be surprised by the universe… when I decided to have a bit of a read of the book that came with my latest set of Tarot cards that I got a few months ago, and the message appeared to be repeated there. Now this  is an is odd thing for me to do because I rarely read the books that come with packs of guidance cards, in fact I have many that could just go in the recycling as they’ve never been read, and probably never will be.

This little book has just a few lines that really made me stop and think about this detachment thing that I do, and I thought, you know what? we all just need some Everyday Zen in our lives!

Here are the Everyday Zen highlights from this little book:

  • Personal enlightenment can come to everyone through meditation. Not meditation that has rules, but through bringing an alertness to our own thoughts, actions and feelings, without judging them.
  • When we practice this, we can find a centred feeling of watchfulness in our lives. Along with the ability to see life as an amazing adventure, a wonderful mystery, and an absolute delight as we marvel at the wonders that life brings.
  • Developing inner awareness brings light and love to everything we do.

It’s not always going to be easy to incorporate everyday zen in to our lives. But it strikes me that we can do a few simple things to help:

3 Ideas To Have More Everyday Zen in Your Life

  1. When you first wake up, take a moment – even if the alarm has gone off. Just take a moment to listen to the house, and all the little sounds in it. Listen to yourself, listen to your breathing. Feel how your body feels, have a stretch, how does it feel now? What is your mood? What does you body need? Water, fruit, a pee? You may lie in bed for a few seconds before you get up anyway, (you may not) so all you are doing is making yourself aware of the moment. If the kids have come in, how about making it a game? ‘Sh… listen… ‘ It doesn’t have to be done in complete silence, ask them the same questions I have put here, but then ask them to listen for the answers.
  2. Take a little time each day to breathe and focus inwards a little. Even if it’s just for 5 minutes, okay, make it 3, oh, you know what, some of you it’s gonna be just 30 seconds, but that’s okay – maybe do it while the kettle is boiling?
  3. Be more childlike, smile, laugh, see the pleasure in the small things. Stop being so serious just for a moment, and enjoy life. Look for something beautiful and really appreciate it for being there for you. If you have kids why not play a game, or just have a bit of fun or rough & tumble with them?

I share this with you because it is in mind, and when something is in my mind, it is usually the case that I need to share it. So I would love to hear your thoughts on this. For my part, I never realised I was so Zen! And now I ‘d like to continue to be so.

Why not try a little Everyday Zen and let me know you get on with it.