In this episode lf The Daily Meditation podcast, I discuss how to feel Zen always. Inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh and Buddha.
Feel Zen! (Transcript)
I’m sure that you, like me, have moments in your life when you feel serenely peaceful, calm, happy and content and. All is good. And then you have moments in your life whenever everything seems hectic and bad and you feel stressed and anxious.
What you really want to know is how can you feel that sense of calm, that sense of Zen While going through the bad times. I learned the answer to this from two of my heroes, Thich Nhat Hanh Buddha.
So there is a parable of the “island within”. The parable says, whenever we are going through hardships in life, whenever we feel stressed and anxious, we must seek refuge within.
Now I’ve learned this is a really powerful tool. I’ve made a habit that anytime life gets a little bit hectic I’ll take refuge in that quiet, peaceful place within. And I’d like to show you how to do precisely the same thing.
So I’ve learned a little bit of a twist on the parable of The island within.
I want you to imagine that there is a home within yourself that you can go to any time that life seems hectic. Do you feel stressed? You feel down and you just want to relax? There is a home within. The home of peace and happiness.
So to begin with, I’m going to explain to you how to find this calming, relaxing space within. And it begins with some simple mindful breathing, Anapanasati.
So to begin with, you need to know how to find your way to that peaceful place within when life gets a little bit hectic. And to do that, I’ll show you the meditation to do and explain it to you, and then you can practice in your own time.
So to do that, we simply practice anapanasati. We’re just going to close our eyes and focus on our breath moving into the abdomen and then back out. Obviously to this point this is not that much of a secret. We all know that mindful breathing stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, reduces nor let nor adrenaline, balances cortisol, balances dopamine, and overall produces a sense of inner peace. And you’ve probably already experienced that in a piece when you meditate.
What we want to do next is make this home within this peaceful Zen like place within. A little more comfortable, even more peaceful. If you imagine it being like a home. You want to turn the heat on and make sure that everything is right so that when you return home, when you return to that peaceful place within, you immediately feel calm. And so I’ll explain how to do that.
We are sitting peacefully, just breathing mindfully, feeling calm, peaceful and zan. From here, all we do is observe the quieter quietude, quietude within. Find that space of emptiness. Of calm. Of peace.
You’re going to notice there is a place within your mind within yourself where everything is quiet, silent and peaceful. Now what you must do is meditate on that emptiness on that space. So. What you’re going to notice as you do this is that this space of quiet and then when you focus on it, it begins to grow until this peaceful nothingness surrounds you.
So by focusing on the emptiness within, focusing on that place of quiet and Zen is going to grow until it envelops us.
Right now, we’re only feeling Zen while we are meditating, and I want you to feel Zen and peaceful always. So how do we do that?
So returning to our analogy of their being a home within a place we can return to inside of ourselves. What I want you to imagine is that this this home within contains rooms just like any other home, and the rooms are areas, regions of your life. There’s a home for yourself and that contains your thoughts and your feelings about yourself. There’s a home for your family. For your work for your. Friends. There is a room for all the important parts of your life. And this is kind of neurologically true as well, incidentally. Because the brain does compartmentalize regions of our lives in our minds. And so it almost is true. That this home within contains rooms and that those rooms are different regions. Of your life.
Now what we need to do is make each of those rooms of your home each of those regions of your life. And the key to achieving that is through compassion. So you probably already know that compassion is. Incredibly good for us. Studies show that it helps to reduce activity of the sympathetic nervous system, so it’s going to reduce our stress levels just by being compassionate.
So. So far in this meditation, we have found our way home to that peaceful place by mindful breathing. Then we have grown that sense of Zen by focusing on the quietude, the peacefulness within. Now we are going to go to each of the rooms of our home and fill them with compassion. And what this is going to do is is going to mean whatever area of your life you’re currently in, whether you’re at work, whether you’re at home, whether you’re with, with a family or friends, you’re going to be in a place filled with compassion, which is going to make you feel far less stressed, much more relaxed and peaceful.
I hope you enjoyed this episode. My name is Paul Harrison. If you would like to book a meditation session with me, you may do so on thedailymeditation.com. Remember to subscribe and until next time stay sensational.