Have you ever felt like life is living you rather than you living life? Have you ever looked around your house or apartment and realized that your possessions are really possessing you, rather than the other way around? Maybe it’s time for you to inject a little more Zen into your life.
You don’t have to convert
The art of Zen Buddhism is the practice of eschewing theoretical knowledge in favor of experiential knowledge, observing the world around you, and looking inward to find enlightenment and answers. But to be Zen you don’t have to meditate 15 hours a day or even follow Buddhist teachings. In today’s, world being Zen is all about being at peace with yourself and your surroundings and living a simpler happier life.
Becoming more Zen
If you want to simplify and live a happier life, here are some ways you can be more Zen:
1. Get rid of the clutter: Look around your house. Do you see stuff everywhere? Are there pictures cluttering all of your walls, clothes falling out of your closet, dishes piled high in every cabinet of your kitchen? Have you stopped parking your car in the garage because it’s too full of stuff? Get rid of it. If it isn’t making your life easier or happier, why do you need it around? Sell it, throw it in the garbage, or give it to someone else who really needs it. When you are free of your possessions, then they won’t possess you anymore.
2. Collect experiences, not things: What are your goals in life? Are you trying to have the biggest house on the block, or are you trying to see as much of the world as you can before you die? Before you purchase something, ask yourself, “Is this going to bring peace into my house? Will it make my surroundings more beautiful? Will it teach me something I have been itching to learn? Can I share it with someone I care about?” Maybe instead of having the biggest big-screen TV you can find, take a trip with someone you care about. In the end, the TV will break and be thrown in a garbage dump, but the memory of that trip will only get better with age.
3. Prioritize your activities: What is it that you love to do, that makes you the happiest? How much time, money, and effort do you spend on that activity? If you have a garage full of motorcycle parts that you haven’t touched in months, or if you have a sewing room bursting with fabric collecting dust, maybe it’s time to reevaluate where you spend your time—or get rid of the junk that is cluttering up your life. When you spend time doing the things you love, you’ll be happier and you’ll be more patient and loving to those around you.
You can have a happier, more peaceful life; you just have to have the courage to get rid of the stuff that is getting in the way.