The Path to Zen

I’ve been having lots of creative ideas during lockdown. When I take the time to just sit and meditate, it’s amazing what a calm mind can provide – rather than mulling over my past or my future, I gain some new thoughts and perspectives on things.

One such idea concerns my new service: “The Path to Zen”. This is an intriguing concept; it’s about offering a 2 year service to mentor an individual into nudging them along towards ‘Zen’. Two years!! Wow, a long time, people might say.

I’ve noticed in the five years of my mindfulness practice, that it’s taken me that long to arrive at some deep realisations about myself, my place in the universe and what everything all means for me. In those five years, I’ve done a lot of inner work: I’ve cried, I’ve shouted, I’ve got angry, I’ve had sadness, I’ve had all the emotions in the book. I’ve also leaned into my emotions, my resistances to a lot of events/situations in my life and I’ve become more curious about them, really honing and chipping away at what it means to be…well, me…or perhaps, not even me.

I’ve come to something which is quite humbling for me. Actually, there is no me. What I call ‘me’ is just an illusion, really. I’m part of everything, no different to the water, the clouds, the air, the earth or the fire. Everything is impermanent, everything alters and transforms into something else. I wonder when my time is up, what I will transform into. A ray of light? A cosmic being? An animal? A tree? When I have such thoughts, I laugh at this little ‘me’ that I hang onto for dear life.

I suppose what I’m getting at in this blog is that we like to sit in our permanent thoughts. We want things to stay the same. Not many people look forward to when they get older, for example. We don’t actually want to transform! We plot ways to try and stop the flow of this time: if I could do more fitness, if I could do more healthy eating, if I could not be sagging here, or getting a double chin there…

We also continually plot how to make our future more secure. Often, we delay our happiness until an external condition is supplied: I’ll be happy when I meet someone; I’ll be happy when I have tonnes of money in the bank; I’ll be happy when I retire etc. Only we lose our happiness of our current life! We’re delaying our joy of life as it is now. And life is so fleeting, so…impermanent…that many of us waste our lives in this kind of striving, this kind of future thinking.

Even after five years, I’m still learning. The Path To Zen never stops. It’s not something to be achieved. It’s a journey. I can let go of my ego telling everyone ‘look how far I’ve come’ for the cosmic joke of all of this! However, the longer one walks the journey, the more wisdom and insight one gets. This is certainly true, and not caught up in ego ‘trying to impress’ guises.

I’ve decided, therefore, to offer this two year service – to help people along the path, along the journey, so they can begin to walk it themselves. We have to get to a certain place before we can walk this walk. We have to let go of our ego thinking mind, this ‘me’, this illusion of happiness in a far away land, and come back to ourselves right now.

And this kind of change takes time. It takes a lifetime of practice, but if I can offer a two year mentoring service for people on what I’ve discovered; if I can reach some people to follow this journey, I’m positive it will improve their well-being and give them more contentment of life.

For more information on the service click here (scroll down to the second part of the page).

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