“Happiness is a how, not a what; a talent, not an object.”
— Hermann Hesse
A monk at the Zen monastery once described that equanimity was her favorite word to describe Center. It was a grounded, alert, and ready state.
Now within this state, there was room for intense emotions to exist. The full range. Nothing left out. But besides these vacillations, there was also a witnesser. An ever-watchful presence who was like a reassuring hand on your back or someone who is standing by to observe. Much like an unconditionally loving adult supervising a child who was enjoying Life.
The two together create that experience of equanimity.
What if the witnesser who watched you full time loved you instead of judged you? What if having this presence allowed you to feel whatever you were feeling and you knew — KNEW — deep down that there was nothing wrong with any of it.
The possibility exists for one of two sets of eyes to be observing you: The habitual voices on their ever going mission to self-improve you and the wise, compassionate Inner Mentor who loves you to success.
Language often fails us in our attempt to describe this inner dynamic.
Happiness from the voices’ point of view is through the lenses of scarcity: Disappointment because of its absence; persistence to gaining it; obsession with keeping it; fear of losing it. The focus is always on managing the outside world: Who should I keep as my friends? Is this the right job for me? Am I doing the right things? Are the feelings I’m feeling right now okay?
Of course, happiness from Center is what’s there when you stop all of that.
Sometimes, by accident, you’ll find yourself happy for no reason. I would say it’s because your attention finally found its way off of what it was latched to. A breathtaking view, an inspirational quote, or an unexpected act of kindness and suddenly there’s a shift.
But you can train yourself to shift. You don’t have to wait for it to happen. You can shift right now and keep your attention where you want it. And you can practice keeping your attention at Center.
Center is where you can rest in equanimity.
P.S. Whenever you’re ready…here are 4 ways I can help you with your practice so you can live The Zen Life wherever you are:
1. Join The Zen Life mailing list.
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2. Learn to meditate in less than 90 minutes.
Meditation is the key to staying in the foundation of a daily Zen practice. It will train you to keep your attention where you want it. My online workshop is the first step. Click Here to read more and get started today.
3. Download the syllabus for my 30-day online retreat.
Quiet the inner chatter and dispel your unhelpful, limiting beliefs. Discover the wisdom, clarity, and compassion that can guide you through life perfectly. Click Here to read more and get the syllabus for the program.
4. Work with me privately.
If you’d like to explore the possibility of receiving one-on-one guidance — so that you can master the art of living The Zen Life…contact me. Tell me a little about what’s going on in your life, what you’d like to work on together, and I’ll get you all the details!
Originally published at www.zenlife.coach.
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