Kyrenia, North Cyprus
Be aware and in the moment with the Spirit of Zen.

Be aware and in the moment with the Spirit of Zen.

Zen philosophy, which says that there is an intuitive wisdom inside every person; It’s both something we are—our true nature expressing itself moment by moment—and something we do—a disciplined practice through which we can realise the joy of being.

The basic teaching in this way of life, in which awareness and introspection is of great importance, is based on bringing the intuitive wisdom within us to life.

It is almost impossible to try to make sense of this ancient and comprehensive philosophy with a few sentences.

In practice, it will be more concise and simple to explain. Just like Zen itself.

Now, stop trying to get an intellectual lock on something that is vast and boundless, far more than the rational mind can grasp.

Just breathe in with full awareness. Taste the breath. Appreciate it fully. Now breathe out, slowly, with equal appreciation. Give it all away; hold onto nothing. Breathe in with gratitude; breathe out with love. Receiving and offering—this is what we are doing each time we inhale and exhale. To do so with conscious awareness, on a regular basis, is the transformative practice we call Zen.

This simple yet profound practice can release us from the shackles of past and future, as well as from the self-imposed and imprisoning barriers we erect around what we erroneously consider our separate and unchanging identities.

So, how can we incorporate Zen into our daily lives step by step?

the self-imposed and imprisoning barriers we erect around what we erroneously consider our separate and unchanging identities. So, how can we incorporate Zen into our daily lives step by step?


If something isn’t necessary, you can probably live without it. Leave behind everything that you find unnecessary and burden you. Get rid of the burdens in your home, in your closets, in the environment you live in, whatever you feel is redundant in your life. And so to live simply is to free your life from unnecessary and trivial things as much as possible, to make room for the necessary.

Slow down.

Whatever you do, do it calmly and with digestion. You can do one task at a time, but you can also rush that task. Instead, take your time and move slowly. Take your actions deliberately, not hastily and randomly.

If you act in a concentrated manner away from haste, you will become more aware of what you are doing, and you will gain a new precept from each of your efforts.

Take time to meditate.

Only a clean mind can stay in the moment.

Meditation helps us to calm down by clearing our minds.

Zazen, one of the basic teachings of Zen philosophy, is the practice of sitting meditation; It is a way of feeling the wholeness, the lively, subtle and interconnected nature of all life. In fact, it is also very important for developing the ability to adapt the state of calmness to activities in daily life.

Be in touch with your thoughts.

Our never-ending mind and our body trying to keep up with it can make us feel like a constantly spinning wheel in a chaotic routine.

According to Zen teachings, forcing the mind to stop is unreasonable.

We just have to leave everything as it is. When you leave it as it is, thoughts won’t stay in your mind long, says Zen, and they will come as they come and go as they go. Remember too: “When the mind is quiet, it opens.”

themagger/ @informavoreffect

Listen to your body and emotions, what is going on inside you.

Sit in a place where you feel comfortable and calm and watch the thoughts floating in your mind come and go. A calm mind knows that every thought comes and goes, it gives you great awareness in the chaos, it does not let you get lost.

You can focus on this flow while practising Zazen meditation.

Go natural.

Humankind is a creature of nature. The natural one is everything that is free from imitation and does not contain artificiality. Observe your thoughts, feelings, words, and what you eat. If there’s something you feel shouldn’t be there, it doesn’t belong to you anyway. Get rid of them. Get to know your own nature.

Set your priorities.

No law says what should come first for you, but you should think about what is most important to your life and completely make room for the moment and your priorities by removing the less important things.

When you are with your loved ones, focus only on them. Just eat while you eat.

Don’t let events of the day or worries about the future confuse your mind and distract you from what’s really important to you.

Do something nice for others.

Sharing, helping, smiling and being kind; these behaviours make you — and others around you — happy. Humility, being free from arrogance and selflessness is a virtue along with a source of happiness. Because as you beautify your soul, your surroundings also become more beautiful.

Act with love and compassion.

We live in a selfish, competitive and aggressive world. Today’s conditions require us to behave this way to those around us, and sometimes even to ourselves. But we always have the right to choose.

First, treat yourself as kind, supportive, caring, and understanding as you would treat someone you love. Always treat yourself with love and compassion. Through loving-kindness and practising awareness, you can connect more deeply with both yourself and others.

Live the present moment to the fullest with mindfulness, awareness, compassion, and love.

The better you are, the better life gets.

Be open to change and transformation.

If there are things in your life that you want to change, you should make an effort to do so. It is difficult to change habits and break patterns, but you cannot expect different results by doing the same things.

Zen philosophy is not a belief system that one transforms into. There is no dogma or doctrine. Zen is the direct experience of what we might call ultimate reality or the absolute, yet it is not separate from the ordinary, the relative. This direct experience is our birthright.

One obvious answer is- through Zen. Not necessarily Zen Buddhism but Zen in its broad sense of a one-pointed aware mind; of a disciplined life of simplicity and naturalness as against a contrived and artificial one; of a life compassionately concerned with our own and the world’s welfare and not self-centred and aggressive. A life, in short, of harmony with the natural order of things and not in constant conflict with it.”

Thich Nhat Hanh
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