Z is for Zen

What is Zen? According to the Zen Studies Society, Zen is “vast and boundless, far more than the rational mind can grasp. Just breathe in with full awareness. Taste the breath. Appreciate it fully. Now breathe out, slowly, with equal appreciation. Give it all away; hold onto nothing. Breathe in with gratitude; breathe out with love. Receiving and offering—this is what we are doing each time we inhale and exhale. To do so with conscious awareness, on a regular basis, is the transformative practice we call Zen.”

Recently I stumbled upon an Oprah Winfrey “Super Soul Sunday” episode with Thich Nhat Hanh, a legendary author, peace activist, and Zen Buddhist Monk. Between current Netflix binges, I urge you to take twenty minutes for his powerful message on listening with compassion and transforming relationships.


Insightful and deep, Thich Nhat Hanh speaks of four little conversational mantras that make a big difference:

Mantra #1: Darling, I’m here for you.

Mantra #2: Darling, I know you are there.

Mantra #3: Darling, I know you suffer. That is why I’m here for you.

Mantra #4: Darling, I suffer. I’m trying my best to practice. Please help me.

The lotus grows out of the mud, Darling.

37 thoughts on “Z is for Zen

  1. Crystal, this is beautiful.
    I have created a Zen atmosphere here at the edge of North America.
    How the world would change if we could teach everyone how to breathe to become more peaceful, the Zen way.
    I have enjoyed the A to Z challenge so much ! Thanks !🤗

    Liked by 3 people

  2. It’s not easy to achieve, but it’s certainly worth it. Congratulations on reaching z.

    I hope you and yours are staying safe and healthy during this difficult time.

    J Lenni Dorner~ Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge, Debut Author Interviewer, Reference& Speculative Fiction Author

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations on finishing the A-Z Challenge, Crystal. It’s a real achievement and it’ certainly given me a boost knowing that I’ve actually accomplished something during lock down and have something to show for it.
    I watched the video an absolutely loved it. Here are a few quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh:
    ” We have to walk in a way that we only print peace and serenity on the Earth. Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”
    Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.
    Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
    I haven’t read any of his books as yet, but this sorely tempyinh me.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like the one about walking as if you’re kissing the earth with your feet since I’ve been walking every day. It’s a reminder to be grateful for each step and to love our planet. Thanks for visiting, Rowena! ☮️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I always think of Bilbo Baggins, the ordinary path that lead from his front door lead to dragons and adventure. You have to be careful when you walk out the front door. – David

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, site, allow me to “Like.” That’s a good WordPress! Now, stay. No, no, stay. At a’ boy!

    It might have been obedience school, Crystal, but I think your Zen entry, and completing the A-Z marathon, really improved WordPress’s demeanor.

    Whew, they don’t come much closer than that. I, for one, am breathing in with gratitude, and out with love. The only challenge remaining, Master Crystal, is to snatch a pebble from your hand.

    Oh, in case you haven’t heard, we just expanded the alphabet. Now there are something like 1/763 letters. Which means, hundreds and hundreds of new entries are headed our way, right, Crystal? What a stroke of good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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