3 Important principles that will transform your life(Zen School Of Thought)!
The book ZEN MIND BEGINNER’S MIND is one of the greatest books for beginners in Zen Meditation. It explains the importance of having a correct attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at a higher level, just as a beginner would. I go back to this book again and again whenever I feel down or need inspiration. I have read this book multiple times but it is not required to read this book from the first page to the last page. You can pick any random page and read for 15-20 minutes and you will get great insight and peace of mind.
This book is very relevant right now during the difficult time of COVID-19. A lot of people have lost jobs, there are massive losses in business, there is deep frustration and fear which has occupied the minds of people right now. As usual, I picked this book and read a few pages and became totally fresh and motivated. I have listed down 3 important principles, that are very important and will help you immensely during this challenging time.
1. Always keep an attitude of a beginner. Be open, eager, and don’t live with preconceptions in your mind.
This book begins with the statement, “In the beginner?s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert?s there are few.” As people start to become more experienced, they streamline their life into a set of processes. They become rigid and are very reluctant to change. They fear changing their strategy and because of that, they lose their real nature, their originality. When unexpected things happen in life, it hurts them the most because they are not ready to change.
But a little child has no preconceived notions. If you take his toy from his hand he begins to cry but if you divert his mind and show him the balloon, he starts to jump in joy. His happiness is not attached to the toy and he does not live his life on predefined processes.
But this point has to be properly understood. The author does not mean that we should not live with discipline or we should not define processes but he means that we need to have a child-like attitude that is ready to accept things and we should be willing to change.
Some people will face a lot of loss in business and people will also lose jobs due to this calamity, but people who have an open mind and are eager to learn will find it much easier to tackle this problem.
2. Take care of that SOMETHING EXTRA.
Now, this is a very strange term, SOMETHING EXTRA!, isn’t it? But it is also very meaningful. Different religions have similar messages but in Zen, the author has given it a different outlook. Let me give you an example of what is this SOMETHING EXTRA.
Suppose you have bought a new car. Now your friend is not aware that you have brought this car. When he visits your home he asks you about the owner of this car. Now you will say that IT IS MY CAR and it is quite natural. But according to the author when you use the phrase MY CAR, you are attaching something extra. It might be better to tell your friend that I BROUGHT THIS CAR FROM THIS SHOP or phrase it in such a manner that you don’t take, what the author says, SOMETHING EXTRA!. Even if you are saying that it is MY CAR, have harmony in your thoughts so there is no pride or ego involved in this.
If we don’t take care of this SOMETHING EXTRA, so many “MY” will make our brain crowded and there will be room left for anything else.
3. Meditation is not just about posture or method.
Now I can give you an example to explain this point to you. There was a man who went to a sage and complained about his wife. He told the sage that he got up early in the morning and did meditation for half an hour but his wife was lazy and got up late. He wanted her wife to also meditate.
Now the sage showed the man a little frog which was there in the corner. The sage told the man to observe him very carefully. The frog was sitting at one place, then his eyes got closed, then he began to take leaps, and when he saw some food he jumped towards that.
The man was observing everything closely. Now the sage explained to him, “The frog is not bound by any processes or methods. He does whatever comes to his mind. If he feels sleepy he will sleep, if he requires energy, he will jump and when he is hungry he will eat. He maintains his real nature. You have become bound by the time and your process and you feel that you are doing meditation. But your wife is mindful of all her activities, unlike you, so she is the one who is doing real meditation!”
These are just a few of the golden gems I picked from this book when I read it a few days back. This book is packed with such super life-transforming advice. I will try to bring more golden advice like this from this book.