Why imitate a Zen monk? The answers to this question can be many. However, let’s go for the most practical. A Zen monk is an example of attention and concentration capacity, as well as productivity and stability.
Of course, when we talk about imitating a Zen monk, we are not doing it in a strict sense. They lead such a disciplined and particular life that it is impossible to replicate in a context like ours. What it is rather about is to highlight those patterns of behavior that they apply and that are also valid in our environment.
“We are formed by our thoughts; We become what we think”.
They make simplicity and focus a way of life. They manage to maintain their internal balance. His way of seeing things and facing reality is truly admirable.
If the idea of imitating a Zen monk draws your attention, take these behavior patterns into account.
1. Surrender to what we do
It’s something we all know by common sense, but we forget to live in such a hectic world. The best way to do something is to give ourselves to that until we finish it. This facilitates concentration and allows for better results.
Being doing several things at once is just a symptom of lack of concentration. This behavior reflects restlessness and dispersion. With this, the only thing we achieve is to spend valuable time on nothing and get results that are not always the best.
2. Doing things slowly and deliberately
Although it sounds contradictory, most of the time we get to a goal faster, when we move slowly towards it. This is because hurry often leads us to error. In turn, the error prevents progress.
When we do each thing slowly, we facilitate the process of concentration. If there is concentration, we also make the most of each experience and are much more likely to really move forward.
3. Leave a space between two activities
It is not good to schedule too many tasks to perform in a short period of time. When we stuff ourselves with activities, all we get is to be filled with anguish and stress. We may be able to complete them all, but we ruin our mood.
The best thing is to leave a prudential time between one activity and another. So we keep everything under control, especially if for some reason the tasks that we had programmed are a little longer. And if not, we have a space to start again without any effort.
4. Carry out rituals, a way to imitate a Zen monk
One of the most interesting points of reference for imitating a Zen monk is one that has to do with rituals. A ritual gives a special meaning to what we do. Its main function is to remind us of the importance of something.
We do not have to do Zen rituals, we simply design our own way of solemnizing certain moments. It is very convenient to do rituals at the beginning and end of the day. Also before doing an especially complex activity.
5. Give value to what we do
Each day is unique and it is necessary to give it the value it has. Sometimes we forget it and we end up organizing our routines in such a way that we completely separate work days, rest days, fun days, etc.
Zen monks do it differently. They allocate a part of the day for each of these practices. A moment to work and another to rest. Likewise, a time for fun and another for meditation. All within the same day.
6. Reserve time to do anything
Doing nothing is something that has a decisive importance. Allowing moments for this makes us more productive, more creative and avoids fatigue. It also helps us to balance emotions and to cultivate a feeling of fulfillment.
It is simply a matter of taking a moment to sit down and breathe, without more. The monks do it in the lotus position and apply Zen meditation techniques. However, the only act of remaining still, breathing, is sufficient to achieve what is desired: stillness and relaxation.
7. Carry out domestic chores
There is always someone who must perform the housework. This is a noble activity, which allows others to enjoy greater well-being. Zen monks deeply value domestic activities and urge to perform them to grow spiritually.
Domestic chores are also an excellent starting point to meditate and practice concentration. Also to exercise the ability to do things slowly and methodically. That in your day to day there is always a moment to do those tasks.