Today, we’re going to look at ways to Zen your life and how to live a Zen lifestyle.
Zen is all about the art of simplicity. As Buddhist teacher Thich Thien-An said, “The beauty of Zen is found in simplicity and tranquility, in a sense of the all-embracing harmony of things.”
When we live the Zen lifestyle we incorporate simplicity into our lives, and this helps to promote relaxation and inner peace. We do this through a combination of meditation, mindfulness, self restraint, compassion, minimalism, and aesthetics.
With that in mind, here is how to live a Zen lifestyle.
How To Live A Zen Lifestyle
Practise Koko (Minimalism)
One of the core ideas of Zen is Koko, which is the art of minimalism and of removing unnecessary things. This is a great place to start to Zen your life because most of us subject our minds to all sorts of unneeded information. And that information can lead to stress.
Take your phone, for example. How many times do you check social media? Apps like Insta and Twitter attack our minds with a barrage of junk information. Simply reducing your screen time can massively reduce information overload, which will help you to relax.
Our homes, too, are often a source of excessive mental stimulation. Clutter, letters left open on the table, and other items can cause unwanted stress. Practise minimalism and clean and organise your place. My guide to Zenning your home will help.
Be Mindful and Meditate
We can’t discuss how to live a Zen lifestyle without mentioning mindfulness and meditation.
Simply aim to be mindful, appreciate the moment, wherever you are and whatever you are doing. Stop every now and again to enjoy a mindful moments, perhaps having a cup of green tea or just taking a moment to notice your breath. Or if you’re out for a walk, why not practise Zen Walking Meditation.
Meditate, too. That’s a vital way of making your life more Zen. Get started with my guide to Zen meditation.
Spend some time reading
We’ve gotten so used to living fast-paced lives that many people have forgotten the simple joy of sitting and reading a good book.
Books are a gentler form of entertainment for the mind. They have what Zen monks call Yugen. That is, they are subtle and leave things to the imagination, unlike TV, games and social media.
Engrossing yourself in a good book offers a way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the world. And if you’re not sure what to read, you could always see my list of the best Zen books.
Unwind to some relaxing music
If you’re in a noisy environment and need some quiet time, simply put on some relaxing Zen music. Studies show that listening to certain instruments helps us to relax. Particularly effective is music with a harp, singing bowl, erhu, or other healing instrument.
Simply put your feet up, close your eyes, and let the music soothe your soul.
Spend time in the garden or with nature
Perhaps the best way how to live a Zen lifestyle is to spend time in your garden or in nature.
Tending to a garden is actually an important Zen practice. You could even create a Zen garden, which is a special garden made of sand that we tend to with a rake. The gentle motion of raking the sand helps to soothe the mind.
A wonderful alternative is Shinrin-Yoku or “Forest Bathing”, in which we immerse ourselves in a forest and allow mother nature to restore our spirits.
And that is how to Zen your life
When you Zen your life with these simple tips, you will find life so much more gentle and relaxing. And it will do wonders for your mind and spirit.
Paul Harrison is a passionate meditation teacher who believes in genuine, authentic meditation. He has more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in beautiful Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University.
“My goal is to provide the most authentic meditation sessions so you can harness the power of your own mind for personal transformation” – Paul Harrison