A Little Riff on Zen

The word Zen is derived from the Sanskrit word dhyāna, meaning “meditation” or “meditative state.”

Zen is a school of Mahāyāna Buddhism founded by the Buddhist monk Bodhidharma. Zen emphasizes experiential wisdom in the path to attaining enlightenment. It favors direct self-realization through meditation and dharma. Meditation is the core aspect of Zen practice. Zen meditation is formally described as a sitting meditation with awareness being directed towards counting or watching the breath.  Experienced practitioners of Zen meditation strive to be aware of the stream of thoughts in their minds, allowing them to arise and pass away without interference.

Zen Circle

Coming up with a formal definition of what Zen is extremely difficult. It is full of impossible contradictions. It is a gradual process of detaching from the ego and it defies rational scientific thinking. Detachment from rational thinking requires extreme effort and discipline. It is met with resistance and takes time to develop but never is complete even if the practitioner becomes enlightened through the process. It is a grueling emotional process of removing doubt, anxiety, anger, guilt, shame, and grief from your life. Negative emotions serve as barriers that need to be overcome to develop a true Zen mindset.

As the Zen mindset develops, positivity begins to flourish. With dedication to the practice of meditation, strong feelings of being completely present in the current moment overtake dwelling on past problems and personal issues. A no regrets mindset is achievable through consistent practice. Emotional detachment from physical objects is also part of the process. Knowing that you know nothing but knowing exactly what you want at the same time is something experienced Zen meditation experts achieve.

For me, I believe developing a Zen mindset starts with removing insecurities from your life. Insecurities about ourselves, what others think about us, and most importantly, insecurity in the form of fear. Fear is a powerful emotion. It prevents us from attaining what we truly desire and wish to manifest in our lives. It is the reason many people don’t take chances in life. Fear of rejection, judgment and failure are some forms that you may experience on a daily basis.

Just imagine what your life would be without insecurity, negativity or fear. What would you go after if you were empty of fear? What would stop you from achieving your deepest desires? If you believe you will fail, you probably will. If you believe you will succeed no matter the perceived barriers and setbacks, success will come easily and effortlessly.

Zen Rocks

For many of us, it can be a difficult process of developing as a human being. We have been exposed to constant negative conditioning that faces resistance when new ideas and beliefs present themselves. Recognizing that resistance, and accepting it is the first step towards changing your life for the better. If it were an easy process, no one would fail at life. Massively successful people understand that along the path to success and happiness, they will be ultimately experience resistance, met soon by failure. That is just how it goes.

Failure can be treated as a learning tool to improve, not to dwell on and be upset about. If you truly are interested in developing your inner Zen, you must come to terms with yourself that you will fail, and you will fail a lot before ever achieving anything great. Removing the word quit from your arsenal would be a start. The next step would be to never stop beating on your craft. If you never stop, when do you have time to quit?

I urge you to address any perceived insecurities and negative thought patterns about yourself and begin to remove them by quieting your mind, and silencing your ego. Once you can do that, you can implant a powerful belief system into your mind, and tackle any “difficulty” life may throw at you.

Zen masters use their minds as a tool, others become slaves to their negative thinking patterns.

Are you ready for change? 🙂

Zen zazenlife


About TD
Live Consciously, Expand Your Awareness!

8 Responses to A Little Riff on Zen

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  7. Absolutely superb post – you have effectively “modernised” Zen for me and given it practical relevance. Thank you

  8. Katrina Nicholas says:

    Great article,

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