Z is for Zen

Z is for Zen

A quick scan of the internet shows that the definition of the word Zen is a troublesome one. The most basic, factual one is this: a Japanese school of Mahayana Buddhism emphasizing the value of meditation and intuition rather than ritual worship or study of scriptures.

Urban dictionary comes up with a nice one: One way to think of zen is this: a total state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of body and mind. Zen is a way of being. It also is a state of mind. Zen involves dropping illusion and seeing things without distortion created by your own thoughts.

Sun is warm, grass is green.” http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=zen

The Cambridge dictionary’ s version is pretty poor: relaxed and not worrying about things that you cannot change:

Don’t worry about doing the right thing with your baby – be more zen about it and you’ll be happier.

I tend towards the Urban dictionary version and it’s pretty much what I felt when I began this blog. Walking a tightrope is a powerful metaphor for the way my life is; ages back, someone suggested just letting myself fall. It scared me; it still scares me. My collection of essays from this blog, Depression and the Art of Tightrope Walking, is my account of my discoveries and explorations of a life dominated by depression; my recent collection of poems A Box of Darkness is intended as a treasury of what I have found in that darkness.

I thought of the blog title several years before I began blogging; it sprang to mind instantly. There have been a number of blogs using Zen in the title; many are using it in a very different way. Some reflect the philosophy of Zen and the Art of Archey, some Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (reviewed here). But I am proud of my blog. This, by remarkable coincidence, is my 1000th post here. Z is indeed for Zen, and it’s also the end of this A-Z not-a-challenge. I hope you have enjoyed my meanderings and excursions.

<departs left, pursued by a bear>

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4 thoughts on “Z is for Zen

  1. I suppose you feel like a Marathon runner crossing the line? At a stroll from the ‘not-a-challenge’? I was tempted to join this discipline but feared I would go too far into PHI losophy!

  2. Hi Viv, Great finish on Zen! Have loved your A-Z blogging throughout the month of April, and very much enjoyed catching up when back from my Spring Break. Felicitations on your blog, your 1000th post and completing your own, unique challenge. Poetical meanderings and language excursions much enjoyed, particularly with the letter F. Just excellent, thank you so much for sharing your wonderful words and books, abundant heart, deep healing insights, inspiring creativity, with plenty of humour in the mix too! Warm wishes, Deborah.

  3. Thanks for your A-Z, Vivienne, and congratulations not only on completing it, but doing it with style! And a lot of substance as well.

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