Zen is not a concept, Zen is a practice of Buddhism that needs to be experienced. Zen lays great emphasis on helping others, meditation, and self-control.
The uniqueness of Zen is that it offers you a path to enlightenment by discovering truths about yourself. Zen is the need of the hour as it allows you to slow down, live a life to its fullest and not just for the sake of completing targets and goals.
A lot of people are taking up courses to become a Zen monk, however, you can still practice Zen from anywhere.1
Here are 11 ways by which you can be like a Zen monk:
1. Do One Thing At A Time
At the core of Zen philosophy is doing one thing at a time. Work is best performed when you do one thing at a time. When eating breakfast, just eat the food on the table and avoid reading newspaper or watching television.
To be like a Zen monk you need to avoid multi-tasking and do one task at a time. Try it for a few weeks and you will notice that you actually enjoy everything you do!
2. Meditate Daily
The benefits of meditation is widely known, it helps ease anxiety and mental stress.2 In the life of a Zen monk meditation is an essential part of their daily routine. They have designated time for meditation every day!
As a begineer, it may be difficult for you to meditate. If you can’t meditate for long durations, just try meditating for at least 10 mins every day.
3. Possess Only The Necessities
Our houses are stocked with things we can do without. Our refrigerators are overflowing with food and drinks that are mostly junk. Now the question is, despite possessing so much, are you happy? Well, chances are that you may not be happy.
The more you possess the more you will want, today you have a car, tomorrow you may want a better one and once you have that you may want to possess an airplane! There is no end to human greed.
Zen monks do not believe in possessing more than necessary. Avoid buying every latest technology or the latest fashion in the market, your necessities will automatically come down and you will be on the path of Zen monks.
4. Do Things Slowly And Calmly
Chopping vegetables and worrying about an upcoming meeting? Under that circumstances, you may end up cutting your finger and the meeting about which you were worried may not go well. In Zen, you should do one task at a time but you shouldn’t rush while doing that one task. Instead, take your time and do that one task slowly and calmly.
This way the task will be completed efficiently and over the period of time you will also become a master of the task!
5. Do Less, Don’t Fill Up Your Day With Tasks
Ask a very busy person, how was their last week and they will list out hundreds of things they did in that 1 week! Well, if you want to live like a Zen monk, then you need to slow down and start taking up less tasks. If you fill your day with tasks, then you will have no time for yourself.
If you have less tasks to accomplish them you can do them more completely and with more precision.
6. Be Happy And Help Others
A Zen monk spends a part of their day helping others. By others it doesn’t have to be complete strangers, it can be your family members, friends or even your colleague.
You need to stay happy, relaxed and smile often. A smile can help you ease tension, it can bring in positivity and you never know it may make others happy too.
7. Cook And Clean Daily
In the lives of Zen monk cooking and cleaning every day are two very important aspects. These two things can help you practice mindfulness and when you cook your own food you will tend to make it nutritious which will improve your health. Also, cleaning you surrounding daily is another good habit as it will give you a cleaner house to live in!
Again, to be like a Zen monk, you will need to clean and cook like a Zen monk. Do not rush your when you are cooking or cleaning. Take your time and these two simple habits will bring about a drastic change in your life.
8. Establish A Daily Ritual
A Zen monk designates certain part of the day to a particular activity. Having a daily ritual will help bring in some order in your life. A daily ritual can be anything, it can be jogging in a park, taking your dog for a walk or taking up a singing class!
Freeing up some time daily for yourself will give you true freedom. You will begin enjoying life, you will start living happily and you will find enjoyment in everything you do.
9. Monitor Your Mental Nourishment
A healthy mind is the first step towards a healthy body and a healthy life. The Zen way of life insists strongly on mental nourishment. Mental nourishment includes things such as what you eat and drink, your daily activities such as watching TV, reading or just browsing the internet.
To be like a Zen monk you need to monitor what you intake as they greatly affect your mental nourishment.
10. Allow Yourself To Breathe
Our body needs to relax and breathe to function optimally. A lot of people work without giving the body enough rest. By doing so you may achieve things but you will end up spoiling your health.
After every activity give your body the rest it needs, take breaks, avoid rushing, and life will be more fun.
11. Live As If You’re Going To Die
Well, this may sound negative but it will enthuse a lot of positivity in your life. By living as if you are going to die tomorrow you will no longer live in fear.
You will appreciate everything you have and live happily with the people that surround you. You will start finding happiness in little things and life will start looking more meaningful.
|↑1||Becoming a Zen Monk at Sogenji in Okayama, Okayama. Japan Study.|
|↑2||Mindfulness meditation may ease anxiety, mental stress. Harvard Health Publications.|