Welcome to Zen and the Art of Everyday Living.
The aim of this blog is to present Zen and its essential aspect of mindfulness in such a way that it’s accessible to each and every one of us as we live our lives in this fast-paced 21st Century world with its exponential, and sometimes mind-numbing, technological growth. That means making Zen and mindfulness as understandable and practical as possible.
I should state up front that I am not a Zen master (and anyone who calls himself a Zen master likely isn’t one anyway), nor am I Buddhist. While I have been interested in Zen since my 20’s (more decades ago than I care to admit), it was in the last 5 years, with the exposure to mindfulness meditation, that I undertook a concentrated study and practice of mindfulness and the Buddhist background from which it springs. This includes an entire year of doing virtually nothing but the study and practice of Zen and mindfulness after I retired from the practice of law and before returning to university for retraining in the mental health field.
It should be noted here too that as Zen has no cosmology and no gods to worship, it can be practiced by everyone, from the most devout people of faith to those who have no faith at all. Essentially, Zen is simply a way of identifying and alleviating mental and emotional anguish (more often described as suffering), discovering the goodness at the core of our humanity, and living life to the full on a moment by moment basis. I like to think of Zen as the psychology of the East.
As a life-long practice, the understanding, and more importantly, the experience of Zen is not static, but grows and evolves. So what I offer here is simply my interpretation of Zen in the present moment. I share it in the hope that it will in some measure be of benefit for living life more fully on a moment by moment basis, and for the alleviation of the unnecessary suffering that we too often cause ourselves.
If you’re new to the site I would recommend starting with my first post, Practical Zen in a Nutshell, and if that catches your eye, then by all means carry on from there, ideally in chronological order, as the next series of posts flesh out the ideas introduced in the first.
And so, without further ado…enjoy!