Moments of Zen

Some days, I need a moment of Zen.

It’s become a catch-phrase in the American lexicon, sometimes humorous, sometimes serious. A quick look at the definition of Zen and we learn that it is a religious movement introduced into China in the 6th century and Japan in the 12th century that emphasizes enlightenment through the most direct possible means.

In the more vernacular cultural definition, Zen refers to meditation, to losing your conscious self.

I’ve never been very good at meditation. My mind wanders and I start thinking of things I have to do, which usually leaves me feeling bad about myself because inevitably there are things I have failed to do or have forgotten about or really feel like I should do.

But taken to a practical, every day level (with due respect to the religious significance of Zen), my moments of Zen are ones which link me back to simplicity. As the website  Zen Habits describes, it’s about “clearing the clutter so we can focus on what’s important, create something amazing, find happiness.”

And while life has been going rather smoothly this week, I still have the overwhelming need to find moments of Zen in my daily life — trigger points for me which calm me down, which make me happy, which take me away from the chaos of the moment.

What things bring you that momentary smile of happiness, that reconnect you to calm and joy?

For me, it begins with my workouts, which connect me to myself and my surroundings through movement and clarity and focus.

But I can’t workout all day, every day.

So this week, I find my moments of Zen in Nutella (a love affair I can’t quite explain) and in photos of beautiful places I’ve been. The Nutella is just fun and whimsical. The photos make me smile. They make me lose myself a little bit in awe and wonder. I breathe and take the time to reset my intention — for the day, for the week, for my next task.

And I remember that all is right, just as it is. Even if in that chaotic moment, it didn’t seem that way.

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