„Zen aims to simplify the mind. To exclude any concepts. Beginner’s mind has too many options. Master’s mind just knows.“
In Japan, archery is not only a sport where hitting the targets is the main purpose. Archery is also meant to train the mind. If one really wants to master the art of archery, technical knowledge is not enough. Only those who approached the state of clearness and emptiness of mind would overcome themselves and then the arrow would hit the target spontaneously.
Archery is just one of the popular and traditional activities, where Zen can be practiced. Swordsmanship, brush-and-ink, the tea ceremony or flower arranging may be some others.
But Zen can be practiced also in any modern-day activity. Basically it’s easy. In order to create a great piece of work, one should get rid of all tensions, all unimportant things which don’t have correlation to the activity done at that present moment.
Nowadays, when one of four people report feeling overwhelmed or burned out, learning how to find simplicity in the daily chaos of our lives is the key factor of productivity.
So what can be done to find peace of mind in our workplaces and therefore become more effective?
It is all about awareness. Just simple splitting your attention to too many things drains your energy. How many of us must read newspapers or surf the internet on a smartphone while eating. Chatting with friends and responding to emails while working. Making calls while driving.
Technology helps us in many ways, but it also leads a fight for our time and attention. All the notifications, commercials, flow of information in general.
We are practically raised to be multitasking. Let’s just take how quickly we get bored, when we have to just sit and do nothing. Our fast and furious mind loves problem solving and constant thinking, jumping from one thought to another.
Here’s a clue. The brain, as any other organ, is most effective when it’s peak activity is rhythmically alternating with rest periods. Periods of maximized focus alternating with short periods of real renewal.
Let’s give a few tips on how such “Zen Attitude” can be implemented in real life examples:
These 7 steps would clear your mind and bring you to the new level of alertness. Your undivided attention can now focus on the only significant goal ahead you. That goal is the present moment, NOW, the only place that your masterpiece is being created. And then the bow and the archer would become one and the arrow would hit the target.