A Zen Masters Tips for Staying Sane
In Challenging Times.
1. Guard the morning (and start it gently).
Train yourself to begin the day with a few
gentle breathe and a smile, *before* even
getting out of bed (or checking the phone).
Make the vow to live every hour of the day
deeply, with compassion.
2. Savour your tea or coffee, slowly and
reverently as if it is the axis on which the
earth revolves. Follow your breathing,
relax the body, look out the window,
listen to your heart beat,
3. Enjoy every step of breakfast-making.
Life is made of small moments. There is
nowhere to hurry to, nothing to get done.
This is it! Enjoy the presence of your loved
ones, and the wonder of having enough to eat.
4. When you’re ready to work, work. Free
yourself from distractions, and cultivate
one pointed mind. But don’t forget to take
care of your body while at the computer!
Set a bell to sound so you can stretch
every 30 minutes or so.
5. Take time to walk in mindfulness. If you
go outside and get in touch with nature,
wonderful. If you’re indoors, no problem:
you can practice slow walking meditation,
a powerful way to release tension and
6. Take a nap after lunch for 20 minutes,
or practice deep relaxation (body scan)
while lying down. Even just 10 or 15
minutes of releasing tension can set you
free and refresh you before you keep working.
7. Nourish yourself. Nothing can survive
without food. Fear, anxiety and despair may
be “fed” by what we read, see and hear.
Likewise, our compassion, trust and
gratitude can be fed by choosing inspiring
books, music, audio and conversations.
8. Sweat every day. In our practice centres
the monastics do physical exercise or
sport every day. It’s essential to circulate our
energy, stay healthy, and release tension and
feelings that are stored in every cell of our body.
9. Reach out to loved ones. Let them know you
are there for them. Ask what their deepest hopes
and fears are. Write them a love letter. Forgive
those who need forgiving.
10. Listen to audio and video of Thich Nhat Hanh
and monastics guiding these practices on the Plum
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