Into Each Life a Little Zen Must Fall

Emphasis today is on “little.”

My challenge goal for the past week was to work on my zen.  I didn’t work hard enough.  Oh, I thought about it a lot.  Wait – thinking is zen!  Okay, thinking about doing doesn’t count.  And I am also not counting the nights when I lay in bed and used some version of meditation to try to fall asleep.

I am just not a naturally zen person.  Which might correlate with my not being a “glass half full” person.  And not being a “laid back” person who doesn’t sweat the small stuff.  Seems to all sort of fit together.  Which is exactly why I need to work on this!

And, honestly, its nice to have something to focus myself on other than eating.  And food.  And thinking about eating and food.  And thinking about not eating.  And thinking about not thinking about food.

But I digress.  Which is pretty much what happens to me when I start thinking about getting my zen on:)

So for the coming week, I am going to keep this zen goal in the back of my mind:  to practice meditation or yoga.  Sounds easy.  And practice is a nice word that doesn’t imply perfection.  Just making an effort.  Working on something.  Working towards something.  Towards zen.  And all the good things that I hope come with it.  And from it.  Because, truth be told, I’m only doing it because I hope it will do something for ME.

But for my official challenge goal I am going to choose something else to work on this week.  Because since coming back from my trip, I’ve been feeling a bit too strong a pull towards grains again.  And I don’t like that pull.  I eat best and feel best when I limit my grain intake.  So maybe having this as my weekly challenge goal will give me the extra push to counteract that pull.  Goal for the week:  at least three grain-less days.

Off to get my zen on.  What are you up to?

 

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57 Comments

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57 responses to “Into Each Life a Little Zen Must Fall

  1. Miz

    (I love that you post right when I get up and quietly blog read. after meditation. 5 minutes of trying for zen meditation. actually thats my comment. this isnt a parenthetical. duly noted. happy grain free days. YOU can do this. and when you think you cant—thats what we are here for. to remind you.)

    • Karen

      Glad you like the early posts – you are a very early bird! I finally realized that if I set them up the day before I didn’t feel as rushed in the morning:)

  2. I’m off to hike which is exactly what I do to get my zen on! Not a long hike, but one full of wildflowers and plenty to keep my mind off eating UNTIL I get home. Wish I could find a zen that would convince me hiking doesn’t justify eating everything in the house when I get back! I like the three grainless days idea!

    • Karen

      Seems that many people find zen or peace or something similar in nature and being outdoors. I’ve never been one of them. Except for water. Something about being lake or ocean-side. Love that.

  3. my zen comes when i bike ride though i hate exercise i have come to view this ride as me time and i’m learning to kind of like it. good goal for this week and keep the zen going.

    • Karen

      Good for you! For me, biking is work, most of the time. Not zen. And I seem to write a lot of blog posts in my head when I ride but rarely remember them by the time I get someplace to write them down:(

  4. My zen.. writing morning pages…staring at a blank wall…locus focus on the Wii….AND writing letters to myself

  5. I’m going to walk half an hour during 3 lunch breaks this week. I’ve gained 1.6 since Friday, with no caloric increase. Weight situation is pretty bleak right now, with no intellectual reason why. Perhaps the walking will help; it certainly can’t hurt.

    Good for you for realizing what’s going on/wrong right now, and tackling it. I know you can do it! 🙂

  6. LOVE that cartoon! I want to be the cat! 😉

    I am like you Karen – I do sweat the small stuff & need to work on chilling out more! Let me know how it goes! 🙂

    Happy Passover!

    • Karen

      I suspect that when you workout you are in a great zen-like place. Happy Passover back at ya! (BTW – I wondered if any readers like yourself might wonder why I am eating ANY grain this week! I am so non-observant.)

  7. Ewa

    I wish I was a natural zen person but I am far from it. Hiking definitely puts me there. I wish I could hike every day.
    And as for meditation… oh, forget it. My thousand thoughts a minute brain just refuses to slow down.

    • Karen

      You are not the only blogger I follow who finds that with hiking. Lucky that you can do it as often as you can and that you have such amazing places to hike.

  8. Your statement about how practicing doesn’t imply perfection is so true. It applies to everything… even ways of eating that are off kilter. We just have to practice getting back up and finding what works best. Sounds like you know what you need to try this week.

  9. Roz

    LOVE the cartoon!!! It’s really hard to shut the mind off and “ohhm” isn’t it?? I’m pretty lucky, for the most part, I’m “glass half full” and have a pretty laid back personality (both of which can drive my husband crazy…) but sometimes I just have to remind myself to breathe and say “this too shall pass”. Have a great day Karen.

  10. This week I’m focusing on…focusing. I tend to take a scatter-shot approach to my day, which means I have too many incomplete projects. Must learn to focus….

    • Karen

      Ah that sounds like when I resort to lists. Does it seem to you that it gets harder to focus the older we get? Or are we just getting more forgetful so we forget what we are focusing on?!

  11. I hate that I love grains. 😦 Hope your going grain-less gets you back on track.

  12. My brain is always turning so i don’t think I could empty my thoughts, so would probably also not be successful at getting into my zen. But, I do try to focus on the 3-4 things that I want to get to everyday. SO, I guess that is sort of my zen.

  13. I was totally thinking about Zen in bed last night…
    It’s great to have a not food specific challenge. Aiming is great.

  14. I’m not a naturally zen person either, and so far today I’ve been that way – mainly because I still haven’t sat down to plan out how I’m going to fit my client work and writing goals into this jam-packed week yet. Good luck on the three grain-less days!

  15. Something that used to get in the way of my zen was that I thought it had a very specific look and feel…and that if I didn’t do it that way then it didn’t count. So don’t sell yourself short Karen!

    • Karen

      Truthfully, most of the time I would say I don’t think about zen, or anything along those lines, or even miss it. But thanks to Oprah and my attempt to live a healthier life all around, zen has come to my attention. It clearly is a missing piece that I never think to focus on.

  16. Stopping by from SITS!

    Sounds like you’re on the right track- working upto days minus grain. It’s a toughie but it works.

    Keep it up!

    • Karen

      Thanks, Sarah. I’ve gone grainless before and for me, the less I eat the less I crave and eventually I don’t even miss it.

  17. Good luck on the zen goal. I have been missing my yoga while out of town. Seems it does more than work out my body, huh?

    Also, just wanted to let you know I started a new blog…

    http://babiesandmarathons.blogspot.com

  18. I’m not a zen person either, but after working out I turn on my SPA music (water, storms, birds chirping kind of music). I lay on the floor and think of nothing. Its truly a wonderful experience, but I can’t do it everyday.

  19. I LOVE meditation. It’s so nice to just pull up a recording and relax and let your body feel good. I listen to a lot of the free meditations on Youtube. 🙂

    I think it’s a great idea! 🙂

  20. My focus this week is drinking enough water. I used to be able to get my zen on…then I had kids.

    • Karen

      I get that! My kids are hardly kids anymore so it can be all about me again:) I worked hard on the water and have gotten to the place where I am not drinking lots more. Actually, much is decaf tea.

  21. Best of luck to you on you ‘Zen’ goal 🙂

    It’s exactly the goal I need to reset for myself and get back to!!

    ~Steph

  22. “And practice is a nice word that doesn’t imply perfection.” — I love that, and it’s a great reminder. Thanks.

    I struggle with anxiety, and I have to exercise to curb it, even if it’s only for 10 minutes.

  23. Sounds like a great goal! It is nice to focus on something that’s not thinking about not eating!

  24. I too am a “zenless” person. I like that you are trying to find zen. I also like your goal. And, While I’m at it: I like how you can respond to your comments. I’m going to have to try to figure out if I can do that on my blog. ANYWAY- good luck on your goal. And, good luck on the whole eating/noteating/thinking/not thinking thing. I TOTALLY GET IT!!!

    • Karen

      I’m thinking it is a WP.org function and probably not something you can do with blogger. It’s one of the things I like about WP:)

  25. Karen, I think you would benefit from reading the definition of Zen and what Buddism is all about.

    • Karen

      I am obviously not a purist in my thinking about or use of the meaning. I’m pretty sure most people get what I am talking about. But then again, I certainly have had comments about posts in the past that make it seem that my meaning got lost in translation:)

  26. Hi Karen. Sorry you haven’t been able to get on my new blog yet! Hopefully today or tomorrow all servers will have found it’s new location.

    I am not feeling so zen right now! It’s been an anxiety filled few days for me with all the computer/blog stuff going on. I am feeling less anxiety though and getting a little more exercise which seems to help.

  27. I try practicing the art of zen all of the time. I can say I’m not very successful, but I am a lot more calm than I used to be. One thing that helped was when I put an essential oil diffuser in my car. It plugs into the lighter in my car and I put drops of pure lavender in it. It makes me relax and makes my car smell good.

  28. Will you post a progress report at the end of the week? Please!

    Your post makes me think about an alcoholic friend, who finally got (and stayed) sober by changing the focus of her attention away from substance toward a challenge. She would find anything in her environment to occupy her full attention. For example if she was driving and thoughts of having a drink came to mind, she might count all the red cars on the roadway. If the drinking thoughts crept in, between the red cars, she would simultaneously count blue cars, keeping a running total of each of the colors. After about 5 minutes of completely diverting her thoughts, the alcohol thoughts would be gone (for the time being). Sounds a little like your zen rather than grains program.

    • Karen

      For me they were/are actually totally unrelated goals, but now I am thinking maybe they shouldn’t be! Since posting this, I have again “thought” about working on zen but not done it and I have pretty much not thought about grains. There is really something to that abstinence approach!

  29. sunnydaze

    I’ve also been working on this for the past year and boy what a difference in the way that I feel. It sure puts things into perspective. 🙂

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