Using Zen

One confusing thing about Zen is that it tells you to be things that you are not. Be happiness, be the universe, be the ball, be the bell. That kind of thinking does not help you when you are struggling with a broken heart, or worried about what tomorrow may bring. Zen gets even more confusing about tomorrow. In Zen, tomorrow doesn’t exist. Yesterday doesn’t exist. There is only now. What if now sucks?

If now is so bad, then Zen can be helpful. There are two parts to Zen, theory and practice. The practice of Zen is meditation. Regular meditation will make you feel better. If you were to meditate everyday for 20 minutes when you wake up and 20 minutes before you go to sleep, your life would improve within six months, maybe sooner.

If you are not ready to meditate, the theory of Zen can also help you feel better. Zen acknowledges that life consists of suffering. If you are suffering, then Zen meets you where you are. Zen lets you suffer. Zen teaches you to feel compassion for your suffering. It teaches that you are not alone in your suffering. We are all suffering. Zen teaches that your pain and sadness is caused by your thinking. This information can be very useful. Many people think that their pain is caused by their miserable circumstances.  Changing circumstances is difficult, but changing your thinking is doable.  To change your thinking, you can consider the confusing Zen claims such as, you are one with the universe. Life is only what you think it is, but it is not what your think it is. To use Zen, recognize that it is better to be confused and questioning how things are than to be certain that things are miserable.  To really use Zen, meditate.

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