The Beginners Guide to Zen Living
In a chaotic and busy world, a little bit of zen is necessary. If you're looking to live a more peaceful and calm life, you may have come across the term 'zen living.' Zen living comes from the concept of 'zen' and incorporates it into your daily life.
It can help you to lead a more contemplative life where you feel more peace, more self-love, and more acceptance. The zen life brings the mindfulness of meditation into your daily life and can help you to feel more zen.
We've been doing some research on zen living, how it can be incorporated into daily life, how it can support good mental wellbeing, and how you can take steps to lead a more zen life. To find out more, take a look below!
What is zen living?
So, what actually is zen living?
Zen living comes in three parts. These are:
- Practising zen. This refers to the practice of meditation. This practice can help you to feel calmer and to deal with negative thoughts in a healthier way. It can also help you to deal with stress better and improve your focus.
- Operating from the true self. This means operating from a level of clarity, certainty, and peace. The true self is accepting and self-reliant.
- Bringing zen into our daily lives. Zen living means incorporating these techniques into our lives and helping to create a sense of harmony in our lives.
These concepts may seem confusing and incorporating them into our lives can seem like a difficult concept. Below, we've taken the time to understand how each idea can be brought into our lives to help us discover a life of calm and a feeling of zen.
Keep reading to find out more.
How do you apply zen living to your daily life?
Now we understand what zen is, we're going to imagine the ways we can bring it into our daily life. Take a look below to understand how to apply these concepts and successfully attempt zen living.
Firstly, you need to bring the idea of mindfulness into your life. Mindfulness helps with the feeling of calm and harmony that comes from zen living and it can help you to have better focus and productivity.
Mindfulness helps us to live life to the fullest and experience life at its best. It helps you to discover the world around you and encourages moments of quiet.
Another way zen is incorporated into our lives is by having respect for our mind, body and soul.
Respect for the mind can come from practising mindfulness, meditating, and dealing with negative and anxious thoughts. We incorporate relaxing and peaceful practices into our life that help us to maintain good mental wellbeing and respect the mind.
Good mental wellbeing can come from anything from a sense of purpose and helping others to family time and social connection. Respecting the mind means staying positive and dealing better with the negative.
Respecting the body comes in the form of maintaining good health. This means both physical and mental health. As we've taken a look at how to maintain mental health, we're now going to take a look at physical health.
Maintaining good physical health means exercising frequently. Try a morning stretch or yoga session or an intense resistance band workout out. Whether it’s a high-intensity, sweat-inducing workout, or a calming and thoughtful session, moving your body is essential for good health.
Along with exercise, prioritising healthy and nutritious meals is a great way of boosting and maintaining your health. This means limiting sugary and fatty foods, getting lots of grains into your diet along with fruit and veg, adding in healthy fats, like extra virgin olive oil, snacking on nuts and seeds, and limiting your alcohol and caffeine intake. Eating well is the first step to having respect for your body.
Zen living can also be achieved by developing an awareness of yourself and understanding yourself on a deeper level. This can be done through contemplative meditation and mindfulness. You should also aim to help others and increase your serenity by having awareness of others too.
How can zen living promote well-being and help you to live in the present moment?
Zen living is great for the mind and the body and it can have plenty of benefits for your mental wellbeing. These include:
- Improving focus and productivity using meditative practice and building awareness of oneself.
- Helping you to build better timekeeping and encouraging prioritising the things in life that are essential.
- Boosting attention and clarity.
- Improving creativity by offering the time and space for creativity as well as reducing stress and boosting creativity.
- Improving memory.
- Restoring energy through meditation, mindfulness, and respecting your mind and body.
- Building empathy and acceptance of oneself and of others.
- Focussing on positive and helping you to deal with negativity in a healthy way.
Steps to zen living for beginners
Now we know the benefits of zen living and how it can support good mental wellbeing, let's take a look at some steps you can take to live in a more zen way.
From your finances to your methods of mental stimulation, simplifying things in your life can help you to prioritise and find the things that make you happy.
Start by taking a look at the things around you in your life. How can you make things easier? Start thinking about the things you buy, the things you own, the things you do: how can you make them simpler?
You should take some time to look at what you buy each week, day-to-day, and simplify this to make your finances easier to control. Think about what you spend and save. You could consider your material possessions too. How many of them do you need? What do you actually use and what is surplus?
You could even consider your daily activities. How can you remove excess here? Could you simplify how you exercise? Or who you are interacting with? Could you spend more time with your family?
Simplifying and removing clutter from your life is a great way of helping you to see what is really essential and what is truly necessary for your life.
Clear your mind
Clearing the mind means trying to remain positive, and removing the negativity that life presents. Try engaging with people who make you feel good, people who make you feel positive, and people who help to support your mental wellbeing.
You should try to engage with positivity across all platforms. Consider your ability to engage with social media in a healthy way. Think about your entertainment methods and ensure they're helping you to feel positive.
This step is all about taking in the good and moving away from the things that don't make you feel good.
Consider your life goals and dream
Living in a more zen way can help you to reconsider what you are seeking in life. You should think about the things you previously wanted for your life and the things you were aiming for and ensure they align with your zen way of life.
Reconsidering these dreams can be another way to change the way you're living your life. You might find that with your new goals and dreams, some daily activities have become surplus and you no longer need to engage with them.
These new goals may also help you to engage in more positivity and find ways of supporting your mental wellbeing in your daily life.
Establish a daily routine
There is a reason that the most successful people have a daily routine that they stick to and it’s because it helps your mind to focus, boosts your productivity and can help you to feel more motivated and positive.
The first thing you should consider when building a daily routine is how you're going to plan your mornings. Protecting your mornings is the best way you can start the day off in a more positive way, creating a good mindset to support you throughout the day.
Your morning routine may include exercise, morning meditation, and eating a healthy and nutritious breakfast, like oatmeal with dried fruit. Whatever it includes, it should always ensure you feel good and calm, ready to face the day.
We're great believers in the benefits of mediation. Whether you practice in the morning or in the evening, you should try to meditate at least once a day. You can start off small, meditating for 5 minutes at a time, but building a meditative practice has been shown to alter the way you think and deal with life.
Meditation is great for encouraging mindfulness and can help you to feel energised and restored. We think morning meditation is perfect for helping you to feel calm, and practising in the small hours of the day is best to help your productivity later on.
Zen living goes hand in hand with meditation as we'll see in the next step.
In addition to your meditation, you should practice mindfulness throughout the day. This is, in effect, moving your meditation practice to your day-to-day life.
Mindfulness helps us to bring us back to the present and live in the moment. Try to notice things around the room you're in, practice grounding techniques, and see the beauty in the small things in life. Mindfulness can help you to feel more positive and to live life to its fullest.
Deal with resistance
Instead of running from the things in your life that are difficult, you should learn to deal with them. You can learn to deal with this kind of negativity through regular meditation and practising mindfulness.
Dealing with resistance means dealing with the issues you encounter rather than running from them. It means understanding that these things are annoying or irritating but that they can be dealt with. These issues are all about perception. If something is annoying you, it is because you're allowing it to. Understanding this can help you to deal with them well.
Understand the concept of dualism
This is a fantastic method of achieving the previous step. Understanding that nothing in life is inherently good or bad, that not everything is black and white, can help you to see the subjectivity in the negative or resistant things in your life.
As we discussed previously, it is all about your perception of these things. Understanding that most of life falls into a grey area can help you to reevaluate things that happen to and around you, helping you to deal better with stresses in life.
Do one thing at a time
When we discuss simplicity, this is kind of what we mean! Focusing on one thing at a time and giving your whole heart to it can help you to do things more fully, more quickly, and in a more focused way. Doing one thing at a time can help you to be more mindful of the things you do and help you to focus your attention.
A by-product of mindfulness, having respect for life and all of the things it provides can help you to have a more positive outlook on life and live life to the absolute fullest. Seeing the beauty in the things around you and feeling gratitude for life can support a positive mindset and a positive outlook.
Respecting life doesn't mean you can't have bad days, but it means that you can see these are bad days and be grateful for everything you still have.
Zen living involves lots of different aspects of the concept of zen. It includes changing your mindset as well as the physical things about you. Zen living incorporates meditation and mindfulness into your life and pushes these techniques into other activities.
If you're interested in zen living, our blog post is just the start. Take a look at the other resources online and find ways to restore harmony and balance into your life with zen living.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does zen living mean?
Zen living means incorporating the concept of zen into your life. This means living in a mindful way, meditating and having respect for life as well as simplifying your life in terms of both physical and mental aspects and respecting your mind, body and soul. Zen living will reach into all aspects of your life and can help you to feel calmer, healthier, and more positive overall.
What is a zen person?
A zen person is somebody who lives by the concept of zen. This means practicing meditation and mindfulness, living as ones true self and using zen practice throughout life. Zen people live a simple life and understand the concept of dualism. They accept resistance in life and learn to deal with negativity.
What is practicing zen?
Practicing zen means practicing the concept of zen. This means living in a self-contemplative way, practicing meditation and mindfulness, living as ones true self, and letting zen practices pervade your daily life. Zen living means simplifying your life, focusing on one thing at a time, establishing a daily routine, reevaluating life goals, and engaging with positive and healthy things.
Is zen religious?
The concept of zen comes from the Buddhist religion but is not inherently religious itself. To live a zen life, you do not need to worship a deity. Instead you will practice meditation, simplify the things in your life, and reevaluate the things you want and need in life. Zen living can be achieved by establishing a daily routine, using mindfulness and dealing with resistance.