It is my wish to bring you closer to the East today through the principles of Zen philosophy. Or perhaps it would be better to approach yourself. They are Zen mandates that are fully integrated into the life and can help us free ourselves from the shackles of our mind, offering us solutions to face the sufferings that appear in our existence. Zen values can be applied daily; it is not necessary to get mystical and enter a monastery to escape the madding crowd. Zen doctrine can be used anywhere, in every state of mind. Zen is the ultimate fact of all philosophy and religion. All intellectual endeavour must culminate in it or begin there if it is to bear any practical fruit.
#1. PURE CONDUCT
For a Zen practitioner, purity is essential. This involves its demonstration through the body, speech and cognitive behaviour. We are a whole, and in our whole being, it must be reflected.
#2. PEACE OF MIND IN LIFE
The world we live in travels at a speed that is perhaps not the most suitable for human happiness. We come to a world where we are prepared from the moment we are born to run physically and mentally at all times. Zen, in my opinion, serves as an antidote to the maelstrom. What does tranquillity mean? Do not use verbal or physical violence; relax the mind, do not make a verbal fuss. Perhaps we should take up some of our time and learn to keep our minds still.
#3. SAFE LIFE AND ADAPTATION TO IT
Through understanding what Zen means, we will have security in our life. If not, our life will wander in instability because there is really nothing for sure. Life is constant change, so our ability to integrate with the different moments it offers us will allow us to travel without overheating our internal engine. Flexibility is an excellent Zen precept.
#4. VITAL STABILITY
We must know what our course in life is because of knowing our ikigai. Through Zen thinking developing our inner knowledge, we can continue on the path even if our goal is momentarily away from our vital way. We must understand who we are and what our limits are. We have to ask ourselves many questions to get to know each other better and give ourselves that internal stability. Without a clear direction, we can get confused with another path or just move in circles. Zen wisdom will help you focus your shot. If we have an address, sooner or later, we will get to it.
#5. LIVE IN THE HERE AND NOW
We spend the day travelling from the past to the future, which makes us miss the most exciting thing we have here and now. We only have the present moment. The past is only achievable through memories that may not be exactly how it happened, and the future is just our imagination at work. Also, through Zen practise, we can be able to stay in the now. Do you know what mindfulness is? It will also help you a lot to live in the present. To go from mortal to Buddha, you have to end karma, nurture your consciousness, and accept what life brings.
#6. BE ETERNALLY FAITHFUL TO YOUR FEELINGS
Follow your heart as if your life depended on it. Our feelings are a thermometer of our alignment between emotions, actions and life purpose. Our life deserves fidelity, and for that reason, perhaps the best thing is to take us by our heart, by our intuition. Faithfulness and trust is one of the pillars of Zen philosophy.
Stay tuned for the second part of this blog!