Finding Your Zen Place

Finding Your Zen Place

sandy-cox
SJ is part of a local writers group in Senoia that meets the third Saturday of every month at 10 a.m. at the Senoia Library. You can also follow more of her writing at creativejuices-sjcox.tumblr.com.

In the past few articles I have written about doctors and pain management all due to the chronic pain I am suffering from my unresolved back problem. The other day I was once again in another doctor’s office filling out more paperwork. What I found interesting about this particular questionnaire was the fact that there was a whole section asking what types of pain management I had tried in the past. One particular box that I had never seen on any medical form anywhere was the question asking if I had tried prayer/meditation. Prayer and meditation is not a typical form of healing for any medical procedure, but it makes sense that everyone would try it. Even if you are not religious, finding peace through meditation can work. Most people call it finding your Zen place, but what is Zen exactly?
In today’s society we use it to describe a sense of peace and relaxation. In truth it is considered not a thing, but a way of life. The Urban Dictionary defines Zen as a way of thinking, or rather a total state of focus incorporating a total togetherness of mind and body. It is a way of seeing things without the distortions created by our own thoughts. The Webster Dictionary defines it as a sect of Buddhism that aims at enlightenment through meditation. The Cambridge English Dictionary paraphrases the definition by saying that Zen is being relaxed and not worrying about the things you cannot change. All of these definitions ring true to the true meaning of Zen to most, but how many of us actually take the time to find it?
My life has been turned upside down and inside out lately with crazy events that are out of my control. Worrying about them seems to get me tied up in even bigger knots, causing a great amount of stress and very little sleep. This imbalance is not healthy and if I continue to worry about things then I could become very ill myself. In order to find some relief from the craziness of life, people seek various forms of escape, everything from alcohol and drugs to suicide.  None of those are positive things for anyone, so I suggest taking a step back for a minute and think of the good times in life. Think of some activity you have done or place you have been that gives you some sort of sense of happiness and calm.
Once you have focus on that wonderful feeling you can empty your mind and think of absolutely nothing, then all your troubles will melt away. It sounds silly I know, but it does work. For me, riding on the back of my motorcycle, the wind rushing through my ears and hair all over the countryside is my Zen place. I hope that those who are hurting and suffering can find the same peace.