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!

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24 thoughts on “Welcome

  1. I am very glad to meet you! I too have been a student of Zen for many, many years and just love the way of life and knowledge that I can be a Hindu/Christian and still practice the Zen way, so inclusive and beautiful. This is my first visit to your blog and I am looking forward to reading much more! Thank you for reading and liking my Haiku post, your action allowed me to find you… a coincidence? I think not. Namaste Michelle 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. What a gorgeous page you have, and Zen or not, it is good to study and share the message of Zen which can help so many. I have been a serious Zen student myself for a long time, and I know it has helped me immensely

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I first have to say thank you for linking the post and for the incredibly kind words you said about it on your site. I also wish to pass my condolences on the loss of Bentley. We lost our Baxter in March and only those with a heart for animals knows what that’s like. Really glad the post helped. As for Brissy, while I sometimes wish I was living there, I’m actually up in Townsville (it has its pros and cons!). I saw from your site you’re in Northern Cal. I’ve only made it to So. Cal. but I’m sure you’re right that it’s gorgeous up there outside of the city. So again, many thanks for the kind words and hope to keep in touch! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lupita, thanks for the kind words. If you’d like some quick tips on cutting through the resistance we all feel when needing or wanting to get things done, just go to my post “The path of Wisdom: Parenting the Inner Child”. One thing I’ve learned, though, is that self-compassion is a key. Most of us have spent our entire adult lives beating ourselves up for perceived failings. Try being kind to yourself and encouraging yourself along your path rather then berating yourself to get better. Love is a much better motivator than self-criticism. Hope that helps. 🙂

      Like

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