15 December 2013

14 : Zen - Something Borrowed

A Zen Inspired Poem...
If you think you are beaten you are;
If you think you dare not, you don't;
If you want to win but think you can't;
 It's almost a cinch you won't.
If you think you'll lose you're lost;
For out of the world we find
Success begins with a fellow's will;
 It's all in a state of mind.
Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger and faster man,
But sooner or later the man who wins
 Is the man who thinks he can.
Author Unknown
Zen can be described as 'releasing conscious, directed thinking, you allow random, unrequested thoughts to arise to awareness - a torrent of ideas which reveals a choatic universe normally hidden from us. It requires courage to face such thoughts and it requires real effort to become detached from it all, learning how our own thoughts are a source of our suffering which must be let go in order to achieve genuine peace and harmony.'
The word Zen has become part of the English language, but what exactly does it mean?  It’s much easier to answer the question “When is Zen?”, for that answer would have to be “Now!”.  The whole point of Zen practice is to become fully aware, here and now.  To come home to the present moment; this is truly where we live.  Thinking verbally takes us far into the past, or into the distant future.   But both past and future are fantasies, since the future isn’t known and our memories of the past are often quite distorted accounts of what really happened.  Zen exhorts one to “Come to your senses!”, for when we get lost in thoughts of the past or future, life passes us by.   When one mindfully dwells in the present moment, one completely dissolves into whatever activity manifests.  One becomes the activity.  Most people have had peak experiences, which all involve being so totally involved with life that one’s sense of separateness dissolves into the experience.  Very Zen.  The word ‘Zen’ is the Japanese attempt at pronouncing the Chinese word ‘Chan’, which in turn is the Chinese attempt at pronouncing the Sanskrit word ‘Dhyana’, which translates as ‘meditation’.  And indeed, the word Zen conjures up an image of motionless Buddhist monks lost in deep meditation.  This mysterious image becomes less mysterious when you realize the monks are simply practicing being here now. http://www2.bc.cc.ca.us/resperic/what_is_the_meaning_of_zen.htm
The principles of Zen are not part of a religion, it is more a state of being and understanding the value of meditation and intuition rather than ritual worship or study of any particular scriptures.  It is a total state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of body and mind, it is described as a way of being.  It is something very much of interest to me and I have found inspiration in many of the principles of zen.  I have found a zen proverb which is forming the inspiration for my new tattoo:



  1. Simple but effective ! Sometimes the art of writing isn't about the amount of words but the message that can be transmitted via such few words.


Please feel free to leave comments :)

Total Pageviews