What it Takes to be Zen
“The only Zen you find at the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.”
-Robert M. Pirsig
What comes to mind when you think of having a “Zen” moment? Are there candles, incense and dim lights? Are you meditating in a quiet room? Are you leaning deep into a yoga pose? Are you laying in a bubble bath with your eyes closed?
Many of us think that we need these things in order to feel at peace. I certainly was determined to create these types of peaceful moments for myself on my last cruise back in February.
I did deep breathing exercises on the sky deck. I did yoga by myself at the back of the ship where no one goes. I got gelato at the gelato bar and enjoyed every second of it.
After my trip, I found myself craving that peacefulness, and I started to wonder, “What if I could be happy wherever I am, even in places I wouldn’t normally think I could be? Could I feel happy and relaxed in, say, a crowded line-up at the store?”
And just like that, an opportunity presented itself. I was in the market for a new car and I knew just what I wanted. I decided to go to the dealership, ready to make my purchase. The car salesman there was obnoxiously pushy, pressuring me to buy all sorts of extra features for the car − all of which I didn’t want and would increase the price.
Normally, I would have felt bullied in such a moment, and I likely would have paid for all the bells and whistles just to shut him up. Instead, I took a step back mentally and brought my mindset back to where it was on my cruise. I immediately felt calm and in control. I stepped into my happy place.
Then I politely interrupted him and asked what we could do to lower the price. In the end, I got the car that I wanted for a great price.
It worked! I was able to move past my feeling of being bullied and achieve a desirable outcome by shifting my mindset!
Now, I find that I am able to apply the thoughts and feelings I experience during moments of peace into my day-to-day life, even when things aren’t so peachy. Doing so has clearly changed my results for the better.