See? I knew that title would grab you.
For the record: I consider myself a beginner (and proud of it) at practicing Zen. I read a lot, I meditate regularly and, depite a bad habit of self-deprecation, I am attempting to rewire my thought process.
I mention this because I’m certainly in no position to offer criticism — or scoff, for that matter — on material that, despite its good intention, seems to jump on the “live in the now” bandwagon.
Frankly, despite my self-recognized novice rank I am finding it easier to distinguish between Zen teachings that have some real substance and the plethora of content that is marketed to an audience that wants a simple, effortless and pseudo-mystical escape from the meaninglessness of reliving the banal minutiae of daily life over and over.
In short: insert the word, “Zen”, anywhere in your stuff and you will suddenly imbue your reader with a sense of being on the cusp of a journey into a transcendental realm reserved for only the wisest of the wise.
So I found this article rather trite in it’s attempt to provide a checklist of behavior that will, apparently, allow you — yes, you! — to integrate Zen “techniques” into your life. Can I get an amen!?
I don’t mean to single out this particular article, but, c’mon — take out the word “Zen” and most of the stuff being peddled as “ancient wisdom” is nothing more than common sense. Wanna stop thinking about the past? Live in the now. Wanna lose weight or have a Ferrari parked in your driveway? Lie on a flat surface when you won’t be disturbed for 20 minutes, close your eyes and imagine it. Are you lonely and want to attract people? Sit on a bench in a park and send out good vibes.
There. I just saved you a few bucks and a trip to Borders.