3 Zen Tips On How To Be Happier
The practical concept of intentively doing what needs to be done.
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Q. Lewis, I read that you do a type of Zen meditation. What have you learned from this approach to life?
A. On the most basic level I have gained greater happiness from the practical concept of intentively doing what needs to be done.
Let me explain. Most people confuse comfort with happiness. But this is misguided thinking.
Being happy is a simple affair if you know these 3 things.
1. Think about what you want versus what you need.
2. Do what needs to be done.
3. Keep doing what needs to be done.
As the distinction between want and need becomes clearer you will become more consistent, more aware, and more effective in the use of your personal resources.
It is all part of Chop Wood, Carry Water: conserve and balance, defining wants and needs, and a commitment to the study of Zen kōans (stories and riddles) and consistent meditation practice.
This leads to mindfulness in your daily activities. It does little good to attain clarity of mind on your meditation cushion if you lose it as soon as you arise. It all begins with activities like brushing your teeth or ironing clothes while fully alert. Carefully notice the position of your body in space and the feelings in your body as you move. Pay attention to the thoughts that enter your mind when you do the task. Can you let them go and just focus on the work itself?
If you are cleaning a countertop, feel the sponge in your hand. Feel the wetness. Feel the texture of it all. Observe how the sponge moves in your hand from the sink to the counter. Sense your movements as you scrub. What do your eyes see? What do you hear as you work? What do you feel about pressing it on the countertop? Are you focused on the task at hand are is your mind wandering? Clean that countertop as if it were the most important thing you could ever do. Move with fluid motions. Waste no energy. Allow yourself the grace of economy of motion. Be grateful for the countertop, the sponge, water, and soap. Be grateful for the hand and the arm that can move a sponge. Be thankful for the floor you stand on and the roof that protects you.
“The right thing to do and the hard thing to do are usually the same.”
― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free
Without letting your mind wander be grateful at the moment with that sponge and that water and that countertop. Soon you will experience wonder in the mundane world of daily life. The weed that grows in the crack of a sidewalk is just as miraculous as the redwood tree towering in the sky. Raindrops streaking a window are an occasion for awe as is the spray that dampens your face at the waterfall. When you open awareness to the tasks in your life they become lighter.
When you are able to be in the moment, you will no longer feel compelled to watch the clock. Whatever your work, bring all of yourself to it. When you are fully present, you may find that your labor is no longer a burden.
Author: Lewis Harrison is a psychonaut. An Independent Scholar and a Results-Oriented Success Coach, He has a passion for knowledge, personal development, applied game theory, self-improvement, creativity, innovation, problem-solving, and story-telling. He is a practitioner of Transmoderm Zen. Lewis Harrison is also a speaker, best-selling author, and the creator of the Best Course to Happiness…at Last.
This newsletter is an excerpt from the Best Course to Happiness, at Last
Click on the Smiley face just below to learn more about the course …