Zen is a practice, psychology, religion, and way of life. I have read Zen books and articles for over 30 years ranging from the poetic and peaceful insights of Thich Nhat Hahn to the raw zen of Chuck Norris.
To practice Zen is to be engaged.
Here is a short excerpt from Thich Nhat Hahn’s, Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life. I have reread this book a number of times over the years and it remains a classic on how to live mindfully. When we are more mindful we are more engaged. I loved his statement that there is no way to peace, peace is the way.
Perhaps there is no way to engagement, engagement is the way.
From Peace is Every Step:
Twenty-Four Brand-New Hours
Every morning, when we wake up, we have twenty-four brand-new hours to live. What a precious gift! We have the capacity to live in a way that these twenty-four hours will bring peace, joy, and happiness to ourselves and others.
Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. We don’t have to travel far away to enjoy the blue sky. We don’t have to leave our city or even our neighborhood to enjoy the eyes of a beautiful child. Even the air we breathe can be a source of joy.
We can smile, breathe, walk, and eat our meals in a way that allows us to be in touch with the abundance of happiness that is available. We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. We know how to sacrifice ten years for a diploma, and we are willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house, and so on. But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive. Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.
In future percolators I will offer you some more percolated cups of Zengagement.
- Wake up with engagement. Can you see your life and your work as a gift?
- How engaged are you in reading this article or has your mind wandered off to the next task, link, or thought? Spend more moments not just mere moments in being exactly where you are and nowhere else.
Photo Credit: Random Zen-Like Art by http://flickr.com/photos/cameradawktor/222328905/