What better way to end Season One of all these Monday meditations than with Zen — which is a Japanese translation of the Sanskrit word meaning “meditation”. For us, we also recognize this word to mean peaceful, calm, enlightened, relaxed. The original word also has to do with simplicity, not worrying, awareness. So let’s play with those concepts today and find a moment of Zen.
Today if you are able, find a comfortable place to lie down, with feet either propped up or the knees bent slightly to keep any tension off the lower back. Whether sitting or standing or lying, put one hand on your chest cavity above your diaphragm and place the other right on or below your diaphragm in the stomach region. Take a nice cleansing inhale and let it out slowly on the exhale. Close your eyes when you’re ready.
For a few minutes of Zen, just lie here. Let your body get heavy and sink into the earth below you. Let your mind quiet itself. And notice your breath, which is always easier to focus on with your hands holding the movements of the body. Stay present in the moment without falling asleep. See if you can straddle the line between staying aware that you are lying here in this moment with the other side of consciousness where total relaxation can occur. Stay with both those realities, and just breathe. Just be Zen.
If you’ve got lost in thought and lost your sense of Zen, just come on back. Welcome your mind to anchor down into the breath, feel the sensations below your hands as your inhales and exhales flow, and keep your relaxation at peak calmness without losing your present awareness to your body.
That, my friends, is our Zen practice for today. Simple, peaceful, and unhurried. Just being, no doing. Alert but calm. That’s the practice. You nailed it. And if you want more, stay right here after my voice fades, and keep on in the Zen for as long as you want. You earned this; you deserve this. See you next season for more mindful moments together. Be well, Survivors.