“How do I become one with the Universe?” I once asked myself, during a time when I felt as if my brain was broken, and obviously, just after watching Kung Fu Panda. Yeah, don’t judge me, everyone loves Jack Black! But, seriously, so many “mystical Kung-Fuie” questions filled my brain, distracting my (once then) OCD brain from messing with me for awhile. That was when I decided my OCD brain could use a little Zen; after all, it wouldn’t hurt.
As the awkward, can’t take anything serious, tiny person that I am, achieving Zen was a bit challenging…
When I think of Zen, I think of wedgie tight yoga pants, crystals, candles, a third eye, and achieving Nirvana like a Dragon Ball-Z character, glowing with massive energy, hair turning color, and surrounded by levitating furniture.
Apparently, I had high expectations for Zen.
Trial and Error with Zen
The only way to achieve Zen, is to become Zen. So, I squeezed into a pair of yoga pants, sat in the middle of my living room floor, closed my eyes, and waited…
Next, I burned some incenses, candles, and bought a few rocks (crystals).
Contacted friends, read a few books, downloaded a few apps, squeezed into some yoga pants (unnecessary by the way), saged my home, lit a candle, turned on some music, sat cross-legged in the middle of my living room, closed my eyes, took in a few deep breaths and waited….
Well, at least I was close. I doubt I reached the stage of Enlightenment, but I did eventually find my inner-peace and it was the beginning of a beautiful journey in overcoming my OCD brain.
Avoid The Awkwardness: Art Of Mindfulness
To be honest, and I wish others would have told me this, you don’t have to try on yoga pants, buy a bunch of rocks, sage your house, burn exotic incenses, or meditate for hours to achieve Zen. You just need to be yourself and simply practice a little Mindfulness.
What I love about the art of mindfulness is that there is no need for crystals, incenses, or candles, you can do it anywhere, anytime, with your eyes open, standing up, wearing your normal clothes, and nobody will know you are achieving Zen!
You can try it now:
- Take in a few deep breaths.
- Then, slowly, one at a time, focus on the following:
- Breath: Bring your attention to your breath. Notice your body moving with your breath and the sound your breath makes.
- Sight: Bring your attention to the room around you, identify shapes and colors.
- Sound: Bring your attention to sound, what can you hear?
- Taste: Bring your attention to your mouth, what can you taste? Notice textures of your teeth, gums, roof of your mouth.
- Touch: Bring your attention to your hands. Notice the textures of your chair, keyboard, or maybe a pen you are holding.
- Smell: Bring your attention to your nose. What can you smell? How does it make you feel? Does it trigger any memories? Good or bad?
Do you feel better? If not, it’s okay, you didn’t do anything wrong. It just takes practice and your full attention.
Practicing Mindfulness allows you to clear your mind, step back from chaos, live in the moment, and gain new perspectives. For me, I use mindfulness to ground myself and RESET my brain when I begin to feel stressed out or overwhelmed. Of course, I still like pretty rocks, exotic incenses, and practice a little yoga.
How do you achieve Zen?