The Art of Zen is nothing more than learning to be at one with your present moment. It is a way of emptying your mind of everything other than the ‘task’ at hand.
The Art of Zen is perhaps the simplest concept in the world, yet bringing it into everyday living can be more elusive than it seems. If you are a person who spends most waking moments thinking about what has already happened, or worrying about what is yet to be, Zen and the spontaneous joy that goes with it will stay missing from your life.
The practice of living in this-very-moment, changes your life. Each moment you are able to do that, gives the gifts of clarity, peace and originality. Every moment becomes the ultimate experience. Whether you are chopping wood, fetching water, creating the world’s next great piece of art, or drinking tea, there is magick in being totally present.
How does one change from being fixated with the past or future to learning the Art of Zen?
Trying to empty your mind (which is often how Zen is explained) can feel somewhat daunting. I believe a gentler and easier place to start is with a ritual or art form that you find absorbing.
Classic Zen arts include: calligraphy, flower arranging, painting, poetry(1) and the tea ceremony. But your Zen art could be playing guitar, dancing, boxing, creating a herb garden or embroidery.
So if I pick a task, say ~surprise, surprise ~ brewing a cup of tea…
To bring Zen and ritual into brewing and drinking tea, I suggest you start with the idea that this moment is yours to enjoy fully(2), to nurture self, to feel at one with the universe.
There is no need for formality(3) ~ your touch of originality is a beautiful thing ~ just invite your full awareness and all of your senses, along to the party.
Choose your favourite teapot, your favourite cup and your favourite Green Tea. Lay everything out. As you make your tea, bring gratitude and reverence to the moment. Enjoy the colour of the leaves, the sound of the pouring water, the fragrance of the leaves as they unfurl, the warmth of the cup, the sweet taste of a fine Green Tea. Relax into each sip. Let the world slip away. There is only the simplicity and joy of this moment.
I humbling suggest, there you have the practice of Zen.
And it is this practice ~ bringing intention and love to whatever you are doing ~ that leads to an enlightened life; a life lived with purity, harmony, respect and tranquillity.
May your life be full of magick moments. ~ GreenWitch Tea
If you miss the present moment, you miss your appointment with life. That is very serious!’ ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
(1) Zen poetry
(2) Zen humour
(3) Guide posts to Zen