Today I would like to talk about how to stay calm and zen whatever happens.
This has been a real challenge for me for many years. Even as a meditation teacher, there would still be times in my life when I would experience stress and anxiety. I could be zen and calm when I meditated or when life was good. But when things went wrong, oh boy, they went wrong.
Fortunately, I’ve learned to stay calm no matter what. It is a lesson I learned from two of my heroes: Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and Buddha.
There is a story in which the Buddha tells his disciples how to stay zen after his death. Naturally, the death of Buddha would be a time of great stress, and Buddha wanted his followers to remain Zen after his death.
So Buddha told them that there is an island within each of them which is a quiet place where they can retreat whenever they need it. Buddha said the calm was inside. And that is still the case today.
We need to find calm [read: calming meditation script] and Zen within ourselves. Only then will we be able to keep calm no matter what. So I’ll show you how to do it.
Keep reading and you will learn to be zen, whatever happens.
How to stay calm and zen no matter what life demands of you
If you want to stay zen and calm all day, every day, you have to find the calm inside you. So how do you do that?
One way is to practice staying alert all day long.
But I discovered another secret.
What I’m about to say may seem a little strange at first, but support me because you’re about to learn to stay Zen forever.
Imagine having a beautiful home that you can retire to at any time you feel stressed. This house is warm and comfortable and full of the most relaxing things. Whenever you go, you feel safe and happy.
Now imagine that the house is inside your mind. It’s a really comfortable place to relax and spend time whenever life has been a bit hectic.
Whenever you go to this special place of your mind you feel calm and zen.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? So how do you do that?
Well, to begin with, you need to know how to get there. So I will give you the directions.
Start by finding your Zen
- Sit comfortably in a good posture
- Close your eyes and relax
- Focus your mind on your breathing as you enter and exit the diaphragm. Just watch calmly as your breathing moves.
- If thoughts or feelings come to mind, let them come and go as you gently return your mind to breathing.
- This is essentially Anapanasati. You can learn more about this in my Anapanasati meditation tutorial.
Okay, now you know how to find your home. But now it’s not too hot. You want your home to be warmer and more comfortable. And by that I mean that you would like to make the zen relaxing space of your mind calmer, so that it is even more relaxing to be there. So how do you do that?
Continuing with the above steps, keep your mind focused on breathing.
- Now, I want you to notice how you have a sense of calm, zen and inner peace. It will feel like an empty energy space. Focus on this gap.
- Keep in mind that as you continue to focus on this empty space, it gets bigger. If you focus on this void for ten, maybe twenty minutes if you have time, you will feel this empty, peaceful energy expanding around you. Can you feel that peaceful energy?
Now, I know, I promised I would tell you how to feel calm no matter what, right? And so far we are calm but it is only because we are meditating.
So we continue until zen and calm surround us.
So here’s the thing. Do you remember how I told you that there is a house inside you and that this is your quiet place? Well, like other houses, there are rooms. They are the rooms of your mind.
A room contains your thoughts and feelings about family and friends.
Another contains your thoughts and feelings about work.
Another contains your thoughts about your self and your body.
And there are more rooms. In fact, there is a space for every part of your life, such as your past, your finances, and so on.
We need to make each of these rooms zen and quiet. And we do it by practicing compassion in each of these rooms.
Let me show you how.
- Continuing with the previous steps. We are meditating and observing the quiet place of peaceful emptiness inside.
- We will start with the room ourselves. Get in your head. Now look at yourself smiling. He recites the mantra Metta (Love kindness), “May he have peace, happiness, health and love.”
- Now we practice Karuna (compassion). Remember one of the challenges you face in life. Now imagine yourself as compassionate in helping you overcome this challenge).
- If at any time you feel angry or hostile to yourself, practice forgiveness. Be aware of the human reasons that have led you to do what you want to be forgiven. Now tell yourself he is forgiven.
- This meditation leads us to more peaceful and compassionate thoughts for ourselves. We cleaned my room. Now it’s time to clean the other rooms.
- Remember an area of your life (home, work, family, friends, etc.)
- Remember someone who is in this area (family, friend, partner, etc.).
- Look at that smiling person. Now say the Metta meditation mantra, “May you have peace, happiness, health and love.”
- Imagine them smiling and saying the same words to you
- Now remember the challenge this person faces. Imagine helping them compassionately with this challenge)
- Now imagine that this person is helping you with compassion for one of the challenges yours life
- Repeat with several people in different “rooms” of your home (areas of your life). This will lead to compassion in all areas.
In this meditation we have created a quiet place inside where we can go whenever we feel stressed. We have also cultivated compassion in all parts of life.
When you feel stressed, return to this place of inner peace and compassion.
Practice this meditation once a week. In my experience, it’s the best way to stay calm and zen, whatever happens.
More ways to stay calm and zen
- Do cardiovascular exercise 3 times a week
- Eat a well-balanced and nutritious diet
- Avoid information overload, such as downloading from social media
- Spend time in nature
- Practice deep breathing
- Listen to relaxing music
- Practice compassion
- Take conscious breaks
Paul Harrison is a passionate teacher of meditation who believes in genuine and authentic meditation. He has over 15 years of experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in beautiful Oxford, UK, and Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and graduated from Staffordshire University.
“My goal is to offer the most authentic meditation sessions so that you can harness the power of your own mind for personal transformation” – Paul Harrison
#calm #zen #matter
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