Aim for Even: Bringing Zen Into Every Day

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.

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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.

13 thoughts on “Aim for Even: Bringing Zen Into Every Day

  1. I agree with all the comments, K. Thank you so much for your guidance, sharing, and compassion. I love the idea of shifting positions. Adyashanti says that profound awakenings can take 10-15 years to sink into all aspects of our lives. I like this idea, because it helps me be patient when I don’t keep the stillness I find sitting when I “change positions” and head off into traffic or child care responsibilities. {{{hugs]}} Kozo


    1. As you say, “shifting positions” allows us to bring the best in us to each moment we have, and if we forget, we are soon reminded that all arrives as it should and when it should. It is as if we offer ourselves a “teaching moment.” Thanks, too, for the link to my blog. I know how those days are.


  2. Thank you once again for sharing your thoughts, so concisely. ‘Bringing Zen to the every day is letting the clouds of emotion delight, darken, and dissipate.’ Love the imagery. And so true. Pure poetry – thank you.


  3. I love the quote from Ajahn Chah. The idea that when I get up from my sitting practice that I am just continuing my meditation in a different posture is a very powerful way of thinking of this for me. It can be so easy (for me) to view meditation as an practice that I do for a few minutes every day rather than as a way of life that I aim to live into every moment. This has inspired me to change my way of thinking of this. Thank you!


    1. I agree that it is so easy to view meditation as outside of life. It took me a long time to recognize that bringing the stillness of meditation into my life allows me a full life for I am able to be more present and do less thinking of the future or considering the past. This “change of posture” has helped me recognize my ego a bit more readily. Frankly, the results have really amazed me. Looking forward to hearing how you do with this. Thanks, Kenetha.


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