What is the almighty zen?
Well, simply put, finding your zen is all about chilling the efff out and enjoying just “being”. “Zen” has been catching on as a common buzz word in the last couple of years – and I couldn’t be more excited!
Zen attempts to send us inward on a journey to enlightenment. The best part is, it is up to us. We learn and grow at our own pace and with our own influence!
Although being totally zen is super trendy, it’s roots run deep!
The word “zen” comes from the Zen Buddhism practice dating all the way back to the 5th century (whoa…I know girlfriend!). Zen Buddhism is a mixture of Indian Mahayana Buddhism and Taoism. It began in China, spread to Korea and Japan, and became very popular in the West in the mid 20th century.
Zen is an experience, it’s a state of “being”. It is concerned with what actually is rather than what we think or feel about what is. Thinking this way helps us relax in capacities we didn’t think were possible. So let go of that ego girlfriend, melt into your unconscious mind and enjoy being right here, right now. You do not have to be a buddha to want to have “zen” in your life – you just have to be you and be willing to practice!
Here is some more reading on “Zen” if you are interested!
Here We Go Girlfriend … 5 Ways to Find Your Zen Anywhere, Anytime:
Here you go girlfriend, nothing fancy, no bullsh*t, just helpful tips to help you find your zen. We start small and work up to the most practiced way of finding your Zen. Lets get to it!
1. Breathe – pranayama
Easy enough, right? Stop reading and just breathe. Most people find it beneficial to count to 10. Breathe in and out 10 times, maybe drawing your exhale out a bit longer than your inhale.
Try breathing through your stomach instead of your chest. We often, unnaturally, breathe through our upper chest, but we neglect the bottom half of our lungs and their beautiful capacity. Since we breathe through our upper chest majority of the time, we take short, constrained breaths without even recognizing it. But, if we breathe, full, whole breaths from our stomach we trick our minds into thinking we are calm, maybe even in a “sleepy” state. We have a diaphragm for a reason people – use it!
2. Take a Walk Sister
Again, easy enough, right? Take a walk. You can bring your phone, but I would avoid looking at it for any reason. The point behind “zen” is not having any outside influence – just you, just your brain. So, go for a stroll at least once a day.
Observe. Seriously, take in your surroundings. You will be surprised how much more beautiful you find the world by simply appreciating small things. Like the wind making the leaves dance, or the little hum of insects zooming by, or maybe just the colors that are in full bloom.
Another way to bring a “walk” into your daily routine is setting an alarm for every 50 minutes. Each time the alarm goes off, get up, and move. Walk to the bathroom, get some water, or just take a lap around the office / your home / wherever you are.
When you go for your walk, bring a bag, and pick up trash. Not only are you making the world a more beautiful place, but psychologically you’re making yourself feel great by doing a good deed! Happy earth, happy mind – win, win girlfriend! Just a shameless plug to love the earth and all that it provides for us!
3. Close Your Eyes (but don’t fall asleep, okay?)
Okay, so try really hard to not fall asleep here! Just close your eyes, give them a rest. Our eyes process so much in a day, majority of the information we see, we do not remember or retain, but the eyes still work to collect it. Sit down in a comfortable spot and close your eyes. Set a timer for 30 seconds, 45 seconds, one minute, or five – whatever you are comfortable with. I like to day dream when I close my eyes, enjoying bringing back my childish ways of creating my own universe, my own reality. Or, you can just sit there and not use your brain – that totally okay too!
4. Make Time for Yourself (#metime)
Making time for you is so important. Read a couple pages out of your current book, take a bath, draw, cook your favorite meal, grab a cup of coffee. Find whatever works for you, but do it by yourself. Maybe this means waking up earlier. For me, the stillness of the morning brings me peace and sets my “mindscape” for the day.
5. Meditate – Dhyana
So this is actually the best way to reach zen – “zen” basically translates into mediation. Meditating is increasing in popularity all around the globe – and it is beautiful to see! From CEOs to high school students, meditation is being introduced to help transform stress into positive energy.
How exactly do you meditate? There is no “right” way but there are many concepts that can be practiced to help you form your version of meditation, your version of reaching your zen.
Here are the most common practices….try them and see what works for you!
1. Seated meditation: find a comfortable seated position – legs folded or legs extended, maybe fold a towel or blanket to sit on to help keep your back straight. Close your eyes, relax your shoulders, breathe. If thoughts wonder into your mind, recognize them and let them go. Try to be in the now as much as possible. Don’t get mad if you mind wonders, its natural, just pull it back girlfriend.
2. Focused meditation: using this practice is nice if you find your mind wondering often. Light a candle or find an object that is calming to stare at and focus on it. Breathe. Focus. Accept.
3. Laying meditation: be careful here! Don’t fall asleep! Laying mediation is great for practicing body scans. You bring your attention to your toes and slowly work your way up to your third eye. Or you can place one hand on your chest and one on your stomach and focus on how your breath moves your hands. Or just fully relax! My favorite time for this practice is before bed…its life changing.
I hope you never stop working towards your zen girl, you deserve it! Enjoy your weekend love.
Another way to continue the zen is through Affirmations and Mantras – check out our blog on it here.