Finding my “Zenter”

The past several days I’ve woken up with a tense jaw. Ever since returning from vacation, I’ve been going non-stop. It’s all good stuff – signed on several new clients last week, visited with friends, am working on cool opportunities, etc. I’ve been more focused on other people or external things and I haven’t regularly taken time to truly be quiet and still. Sure, I’ve done my morning yoga practice to varying degrees, however my body is clearly telling me I’m needing something more to fully recharge.

I’ve never considered myself religious, yet I do believe in some form of a higher power. One of my previous coaches was a spiritual coach. Our work started me on my journey to exploring more about my own higher self and how it’s connected to everything around me. In addition to helping me take the leap to pursue my dreams, she also guided me in developing a regular practice of quieting, journaling and tapping into my inner peace and knowing.

uylv-shodo-long.jpgMy grandparents were Buddhist. As a kid, I thought their chanting and incense were just a little too weird. Now, I wish that I had learned more about it from them. Especially, the meditative art of shodo that my grandpa used to practice daily (the image is a portion of one of his calligraphy scrolls that hangs in our house).

More recently, probably since my yoga training, I’m noticing that Buddhism has been showing up in different parts of my life. My friend Brighid studies Buddhism, especially the practice of the Middle Way, and often times shares her learnings with me. This past weekend, Brian and I watched the inspiring movie “Peaceful Warrior.” Many of the film’s messages (especially of “taking out the trash” – the mental garbage that clutters our minds and prevents us from fully living in the present moment) are inspired by Buddhist teachings and also remind me a lot about what life coaching is about.

What I’m learning about Buddhism is that it’s more of a philosophy, a way of being or a practice. The concepts naturally resonate with me. I even think back to how many times friends and colleagues have commented on how “Zen” I am.

As I read “The Zen of Creativity” in bed last night, I shared with Brian how I’ve noticed these theme of Zen and Buddhism lately. I even mentioned that the last book I read happened to be written by a local spiritual teacher who has a Zen center in Oakland which I’m considering checking out. Brian joked that it should be called a “Zenter.” Anyway, that term grew on me. As I laid awake not able to sleep at the crack of dawn this morning, I thought to myself that in the midst of my stress and clutter, I’m finding my own “Zenter.” I’m cultivating my own practice of quieting down, emptying my mind and letting creativity flow from there. I’ve even been incorporating these ideas into the new branding for my coaching business.

So, speaking of quiet, creative time, I’m planning on spending the rest of the afternoon clearing my head and then creating from that.

[tags]Zen, Buddhism, spirituality, shodo[/tags]

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