This is the beginning of my third year of blogging about bringing Zen, the “meditative state,” into every moment of every day. There is no one way to do this, as I have learned, but Zen is possible in any and every moment.
The meditative state is being engaged in life, immersed in it, actually. “When coming out of sitting, don’t think that you’re coming out of meditation, but that you are changing postures” (Ajahn Chah).
The act of meditating is to sit in stillness while the practice of yoga moves around the body’s fluids. In both, there is the sensation of being alive. Taking a meditative moment at the end of a yoga session allows the fluids to balance within the body. What was in motion is now in balance for the day.
The postures or positions we assume are unique to us as are our everyday responsibilities. We join with one another in many activities, especially in our work, but even our collective effort is comprised of the unique points of light that each one of us is. That is the meditative state, our own Zen, which we bring to life.
Bringing Zen into our every day may mean stops and starts for a river’s flow is not always smooth, choppy or a torrent but rather, it is steady and swirling simultaneously. Making the meditative state integral to our lives is to aim for even, to meet each moment for all that it is without looking ahead or behind.
To aim for even is to “…stop being carried away by our regrets about the past, our anger or despair in the present or our worries about the future” (Thich Nhat Hanh). Aiming for even is to maintain our balance through the rapids of our lives and to float on moments of reflection. One is not more than the other ever.
To aim for even is to throw off emotional weight past, present or future, to “…see that the emotions themselves arise out of conditions and pass away as the conditions change, like clouds forming and dissolving in the clear open sky” (Joseph Goldstein). Emotions have the substance of a cloud and the energy of the life force, pure and wakeful.
Bringing Zen to the every day is letting the clouds of emotion delight, darken, and dissipate. Emotional balance is more than shrugging off a difficult moment. It is accepting that the dark never stays and neither does the light. Life is impermanent eternally.
“For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them” (Thich Nhat Hanh). To aim for even is to forego pre-conceived notions of what or how life should be. To meet each moment is to allow it to reveal itself in all that it is and then respond.
If we allow the meditative state to remind us that silence is always a response, we are able to immerse ourselves in all that comes to us for as long as it may take but not a moment longer for there is so much more to come.
In meditation, we watch thoughts come and go for that is the posture of the practice. In bringing Zen into the everyday, we allow moments to move through us rather than holding onto them.
These past two years of blogging have been rich years. So many of you have revealed to me perspectives I may not have otherwise considered or have ever discovered. Thank you for bringing Zen into my every day, reminding me to aim for even.