What seems like a hundred years ago I read a book about the teaching of Zen. I read it nice and easy attempting to really understand what it was all about.
The lesson learned, which stayed with me throughout my life, is that words and language limit everything it attempts to contain via definition.
Zen is school of Mahayna Buddhism that originated in China during the Tang dynasty, and later developed into various schools. The Chan School was strongly influenced by Taoist philosophy, especially Neo-Daoist thought, and developed as a distinct school of Chinese Buddhism.
Zen is a state of calm attentiveness in which one’s actions are guided by intuition rather than by conscious effort. Perhaps that is the Zen of gardening- you become one with the plants, lost in the rhythm of tasks at hand.
The Zen of the mind is a term shortened from mushin no shin, a Zen expression meaning the mind without mind and is also referred to as the state of “no-mindness”. That is a mind not fixed or occupied by thought or emotion and thus open to everything. Is is translated by D.T. Suzuki as “being free from mind-attachment”.
In order to become a Zen person you need to learn to do one thing at a time. This rule ( and some of the others that follow) will be familiar to long-time Zen Habit.
Whatever you do, do it slowly and deliberately. Do it completely. Do less. Put space between things. Develop rituals. Designate time for certain things. Devote time to sitting. Make cleaning and cooking become meditation. Think about what is necessary. Live simply.
This brief comment of the subject of Zen, with the help of Wikipedia, attempts to point in the direction of useful life-living techniques that may help you undo the tangles society inflicts upon us all. Happy Zen.
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