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Find Your Zen!

January 11, 2016

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It can be stressful to head back to school after the winter holidays, and the cold weather really gets a lot of people feeling blue. It's a good time of year to think about finding ways to remain calm and centered, despite whatever obstacles you may face. 

What is Zen? 

  • The concept of Zen originated in China in the 7th century under the Tang Dynasty, as a Chinese style of Buddhism. It eventually spread to Japan, where the origins of the modern thinking of Zen lie. 
  • The practice of Zen focuses on meditation, insight into the self, and emphasizing how one can use that insight to benefit other people. 
  • Zen is a complex concept, but these days those of us who aren't strictly Buddhist often consider it as a method for achieving calm, appreciating the world around us, and simplifying our lives. 

Buddhist monks have been wearing similar robes for thousands of years.Buddhist monks have been wearing similar robes for thousands of years.Courtesy of The Guardian

Meditation

  • Meditation can mean a lot of things, and you can feel free to practice it in whatever way suits you best. Some people find it peaceful to sit in a park, while others may find running or doing chores around the house helps them to focus and achieve a sense of calm.
  • If you've never tried to meditate before, start by finding a peaceful, quiet place where you feel safe and secure. Sit in a comfortable way in your place. Close your eyes and focus on breathing deeply. Tune into your own emotions. If you let your mind calmly explore how you are feeling, you might be surprised at what it comes up with. 
  • The essential goal behind meditation is to take responsibility for your emotions and reactions, and to develop clarity, positivity, and a calm awareness of yourself and the world. 

Meditation has become so popular that it is often even practiced in schools!Meditation has become so popular that it is often even practiced in schools!Courtesy of The Huffington Post

Benefiting Others

  • A large part of the process of finding insight into yourself is learning how to act in such a way as to benefit those around you. Embracing the community around you is a way to find pleasure in the simpler parts of life. 
  • There are some little things you can do to spread kindness and benefit others. Sometimes, all it takes is a smile! You never know what those around you are going through in their lives, and giving someone a big smile when you greet them, whether it be a friend, teacher, or family member, is an easy way to make someone's day. 
  • Listen! Sometimes all someone needs is a friendly ear. Try making a little extra time to really listen to a friend's problems. It will draw the two of you closer. 

Benefit others by giving someone a helping hand. Benefit others by giving someone a helping hand. Courtesy of tinybuddha.com

Remember, these points are just a basic start to finding your Zen. If you're interested in exploring this idea further, think about doing some research or asking a teacher for advice. Approaching life from a Zen perspective, even if it's just the little things, could make in a big difference in your sense of well-being. 

Have Your Say!

Have you ever meditated? Share your experiences with our Kidzworld readers!