Zen 101: How to Be the Zennest Zen Master You Have Ever Met!

Zennest Zen Master

The time to free yourself is when your presence is the most potent: the present moment! Unintentional rhyming aside, if you know the following three things I’m about to share with you, then euphoric inner peace is well within your reach.

By know, I do NOT mean simply intellectualize… You need to both internalize AND externalize these Buddhist beliefs in order for your inner Zen Master to beam outward.

Buddha Cat

Anatma = The Self Is Always Changing

Internalize this: You are not the same person you were yesterday. Heck, not even your cells are the exact same as they were milliseconds ago. According to www.ScienceMuseum.org, our bodies are constantly replacing old cells with new ones at the rate of millions per second [1].

And just like our cells, we’re constantly growing, expanding, replenishing ourselves on levels we can’t even see oftentimes! There’s no need to have a fixation on being this fixed, stable person 100% of the time. Flexibility enables growth which leads to monumental transformation.

“Trying to define yourself is like
trying to bite your own teeth.”

-Alan W. Watts

Externalize this: Create (and recreate) yourself instead of finding yourself. You’re not lost. You’ve been you all along, even if you’ve changed overtime.

Be constructive. The process of looking for yourself is destructive because you’re coming from a place of lack; parts of you are missing and you’re seeking other things to make you feel whole. Not good. Also work on forgiving… yourself as well as others.

Dukkha = Life Is Painful and Causes Suffering

Internalize this: It’s actually not as depressing as you might think. In fact, embracing this truth enhances YOUR truth.

Feeling pain is very human. Suffering is very human, too. Some experience it more than others, but such things strengthen your character. Trials teach you valuable lessons that you would not learn otherwise.

I know… it’s so much easier to accept this truth when everything’s going smoothly, but the golden nuggets of wisdom are there whether you fully accept it or not.

“There will always be suffering.
But we must not suffer over the suffering.”

-Alan W. Watts

Externalize this: Every single time you find imperfection in your life, don’t focus on it like it’s some sort of problem that needs to be over-analyzed or pushed under the rug.

Be solution-oriented. If a solution can’t be found right away, simply breathe. Focus on your perceived perfections. The solution will come in due time as long as you remain receptive.

Anitya = Life Is in Constant Flux
(also known as impermanence)

Internalize this: Change is inevitable. Life can be pain at times, but it can also be joy. It can be ecstasy, but it can also be downright draining.

Embracing that each day as a different day that brings new experiences also brings excitement into your life, though it can also bring some discomfort. As long as resistance does not outweigh acceptance, you’ll be fine.

“The only way to make sense out
of change is to plunge into it,
move with it, and join the dance.”

-Alan W. Watts

Externalize this: When you become uncomfortable with something, don’t avoid it. Especially when it involves change. Change = expansion. So do yourself a favor and take every available opportunity to expand! Make it a point to try/learn something new daily.

Zen Monk Walking

To live in a zen-like state, you don’t need to wear a crimson-red robe or sit down in a full lotus position for hours on end chanting “om.” Accepting these three truths of life are the key to a peaceful life that doesn’t waver as soon as a problem arises.

Are you having a hard time accepting any of these or would you like to add more to the list?

Eva Xanthopoulos

1. ScienceMuseum.org


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