Finding your zen

1. Start your day with 10 minutes of sitting in meditation.
2. Take the time to sit down and enjoy eating breakfast at home.
3. Remind yourself every day of your gratitude for being alive and having 24 brand-new hours to live.
4. Try not to divide your time into “my time” and “work.” All time can be your own time if you stay in the present moment and keep in touch with what’s happening in your body and mind. There’s no reason why your time at work should be any less pleasant than your time anywhere else.
5. Resist the urge to make calls on your cell phone while on your way to and from work, or on your way to appointments. Allow yourself this time to just be with yourself, with nature and with the world around you.
6. Arrange a breathing area at work where you can go to calm down, stop and have a rest. Take regular breathing breaks to come back to your body and to bring your thoughts back to the present.
7. At lunchtime, eat only your food and not your fears or worries. Don’t eat lunch at your desk. Change environments. Go for a walk.
8. Make a ritual out of drinking your tea. Stop work and look deeply into your tea to see everything that went into making it: the clouds and the rain, the tea plantations and the workers harvesting the tea.
9. Before going to a meeting, visualize someone very peaceful, mindful and skillful being with you. Take refuge in this person to help stay calm and peaceful.
10. If you feel anger or irritation, refrain from saying or doing anything straight away. Come back to your breathing and follow your in- and out-breath until you’ve calmed down.
11. Practice looking at your boss, your superiors, your colleagues or your subordinates as your allies and not as your enemies. Recognize that working collaboratively brings more satisfaction and joy than working alone. Know that the success and happiness of everyone is your own success.
12. Express your gratitude and appreciation to your colleagues regularly for their positive qualities. This will transform the whole work environment, making it much more harmonious and pleasant for everyone.
13. Try to relax and restore yourself before going home so you don’t bring accumulated negative energy or frustration home with you.
14. Take some time to relax and come back to yourself when you get home before starting on household chores. Recognize that multitasking means you’re never fully present for any one thing. Do one thing at a time and give it your full attention.
15. At the end of the day, keep a journal of all the good things that happened in your day. Water your seeds of joy and gratitude regularly so they can grow.

– Thich Nhat Hanh
“15 Practical Ways To Find Your Zen At Work”

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Focusing the sick mind

I’ve had a cold the past few days, missed sitting yesterday because I couldn’t sit up and close my eyes without falling over, much less even breathe.

Today was better. I just did 10 minutes, and started off breathing through my mouth, but towards the end I was able to draw a few breaths through my nose. I’m glad I sat, because I felt slightly better afterwards. I’m glad I’m off today because my energy levels are very low. 

How do you manage when your body is ill? Another challenge I feel I need to work towards.  

Seeking Peace

“Root out the aggression in your life, and learn to live compassionately and mindfully. Seek peace. When you have peace within, real peace with others is possible.”
~Thich Nhat Hanh~

Letting it all go 

The past few days I’ve mediated less time than normal becayse of time constraints , but still needed to sit. The bitter cold has been sapping my energy in the mornings, but I’m finding that the sitting is helping me face the day without aggravation or anxiety. I’m finding myself in personal interactions where I might normal respond with sarcasm or annoyance, and am instead able to let it go with a smile and move on with my day. This is the tangible positive benefit I’m seeing, even though in the midst of my sittings I’m feeling distracted and twitchy, it is making a difference! Namasté

A selfish act 

I haven’t posted my crafts lately, but I figured I’d share this one. Crocheted Triangle Shawl, corner to corner stitch,  using Caron Cakes yarn in Blackberry Mousse. In progress. 

After creating several items over the holidays for others as gifts, this one is for me. I’m thinking it will make a nice lightweight shawl for meditating in, or outdoors once spring comes.

Zen mind

Last night I started reading “Zen mind, Beginners mind” before bed. I’ve had the physical book for many years, but never actually read it. At the moment, it is lost in the Indiana jones-esque warehouse of boxes that is my storage unit, so I found a free copy online and downloaded it.

Trying to incorporate the few things I read about in the first chapter was exhausting this morning. I don’t know why, but I pushed myself to 30 minutes. Ears aligned with shoulders, spine straight… I can’t do full lotus because of my hips and knees so attempted half lotus. It held for about 30 seconds . Lol. I cupped My hands on my lap, and even tho I have used this mudra before, it was as if my hands were of their own mind.. My thumbs would not stay together, my fingers twitched…

Now that the complaint part is over… It actually was pretty amazing. I was very very aware of everything. My mind wandered a bit, but All the sensation brought me back to breath constantly. I had a few moments here and there of what I felt was good concentration. And as frustrating as it was to feel so awkward, I still wanted to be there.

Be. Here. Now.  My inner soundtrack for today.