In today’s world it seems that worrying has become the standard. With the financial crisis that the world has faced and many people out of jobs, people will naturally start to worry about their future. This will lead to stress and anxiety. Thoughts about the worry tend to lead to more thoughts about something that may or may not happen.
Mental distractions tend to take away from what is happening at the moment. The great majority of people in the Western world have minds that wonder elsewhere instead of being in the present. I doubt that they even live in the present. One’s physical being may be there, but their minds are not.
The practice of Zen Meditation as done by the monks in Buddhism has shown to be effective in dealing with a distracted mind. Even recent studies, such as the one done by Ulrick Kirk and his colleagues at Baylor Medical College in Houston, have shown to increase rational thinking. Rational thinking and living in the present moment, go hand-in-hand.
Zen meditation allows one to be able to concentrate their thoughts. Distractions diffuse them. When you’re able to concentrate your mind becomes focused, much like a magnifying glass that concentrates sunlight into a tiny beam that can burn through a piece of paper. Master practitioners of Zen meditation have that kind of concentration.
It is also an awakening. Once you realize that living and being aware of each moment, you will truly be awake. My friend Jerry McGowan described his endeavor and discovery into Zen Meditation this way. Instead of concentrating on something, you become it. He used an orange in that way. He became the orange. That is similar to what Buddha discovered. He became one with the Universe.
Zen meditation is a way to enlightenment. Zen is not about the intellect; instead, it focuses on the simplicity of life. It’s more about the experiences we have rather than the knowledge we possess. It is not about judgment, just staying in the present moment.
Here are some pointers in Zen Meditation that will help you wipe away worries when put into action:
· Become the thing that you are concentrating on. It’ll help you to stay focused. Bring all your awareness to it. Jerry McGowan stated that he became a seed inside the orange. And he imagined what it would be like to be inside the orange.
· Deep breathing is fundamental to all meditation. When you use your diaphragm with your abdominal muscles. Imagine that you lungs are like an accordion as you take in each breath. If you don’t already breathe deeply, then it will take some focus at the beginning. You will when you breathe and your belly will rise instead of your shoulders. Most people breathe shallowly. That’s due to stress and anxiety. Babies do natural or deep breathing. It’s only when we start suffering from distress and anxiety, including worrying, do we stop breathing properly. Eventually it will become our norm. When deep breathing, count to 10 as you breathe in, hold for a count of 10, exhale for a count of 10, hold for a count of 10 and repeat. Eventually it will become natural to you.
· Learn to let go of the past and the future. Only focus on what exists and that is the present. As each moment passes, it becomes part of the past and does not exist anymore. The future is undetermined. We can create it through goals and planning and that’s it. Still, we never will know what will truly happen.
· You start with the inside and eventually will go to the outside. That is the way to enlightenment in Zen.
These are a few ways that should help. Find a Zen master to help you further in your quest to a worry-free life. Though, it should never be a quest. Instead, just living in the now.
Living an optimal life requires a life that is healthy and fit. Knowing what you need to do in order for that to happen is important. And taking action towards getting healthy and fit is the most important key. Finding the right knowledge and experts in their fields can go a long way to accomplishing that. That’s as long as you take action on what you learn. People who are successful are always action-oriented. They will simply put into the action the right knowledge for them. That includes getting healthy and fit.
Once you are there, then will you start to truly live a life that is optimal. For more information and to subscribe to the newsletter, go to http://optimallifeseminars.com
Bob Choat is a peak performance coach, professional speaker and co-owner of Optimal Life Seminars along with Dr. Lori Shemek, Ph.D. You can find him at http://bobchoat.com