The Zen Habits Method

The Zen Habits System: a way of creating and coping with change. 

zen-mindHere’s the process in short — we’ll go into each piece in slightly more detail.

  1. Limelight: Be mindfully in the minute.
  2. Plum Blossoms: See everything as change (impermanence), and adopt it.
  3. Develop a Space: Deal with things as they come, one in a time.
  4. Head Movie: Do not be attached to ideals and anticipations.
  5. Grow a Plant: Focus on Goals, without connection to Results.
  6. Infantile Thoughts: Let go of the Self that needs the ideals.
  7. Start to see the Mountains: With Gratitude and Thanks.
  8. Dewlike Life: Do not waste a minute.

The Zen Habits Method In Detail

With one of these notions that are interrelated, we are able to take on anything: loss of employment, sickness, unhappiness with another person, being overwhelmed, fiscal issues, procrastination, and much more.

I think of the approach in a small (unrhyming) poem:

Be in the minute, embracing the impermanence of life

Cope with things as they come, without egotism, without expectations

With gratitude, thanks and great intent

Without wasting a second

OK, I am not a great poet. Before seeing how it is applied in the the next couple of phases to different places in our own lives, let us go a bit farther to the process.

1. Limelight

Remember the Limelight of Mindfulness we discussed that makes everything else in this process potential. You will not be able to view Childish Thoughts or your Mind Movie, you will forget to have gratitude and thanks, you will not recall to have great motives, you will not see your connections to ideals or consequences.

Be mindfully in the minute, as much as possible. You will not be able to be aware all the time, but when you’re coping with pressure, a major life change, a discouragement or any other kind of anguish, turn on the Limelight of Mindfulness.

2. Plum Blossoms

In Chapter 15 of the Zen Habits Book, Leo Babauta writes about considering everything around us, and the impermanence of the plum blossom. If we are able to see that everything in life is change, that everything is impermanent … we can either despise that change or adopt it.

I say embrace change. Adore impermanence. It creates growth potential, life potential, adore not impossible. Let you fill using a feeling of wonder. See everything as impermanence and change and adopt it.

3. Develop a Space

In Chapter 1 of the book, he talked about doing one habit at a time and Creating Space for the change. Well we’ve new changes coming at us, give their own space to each of those. You can not focus your attention anyhow — all you can do is change between all of them, changing rapidly and giving them inadequate focus, or either giving them the total space and focus they deserve.

We prepare and can not plan for everything, because we can not forecast the future, and strategies will be interrupted as things change. By working with things as they come, one in a time, giving each one the space it needs rather, prepare yourself for anything.

4. Head Movie

Among the principal subjects of the novel is the Head Movie: pictures and the narratives playing that individuals become attached to. These are our ideals, our expectations, our dreams of what life could be or should be.

As we have seen, attaching ourselves to these ideals and expectations is the basis for anguish and frustration. It might induce us to abandon a custom change, as well as to not be happy with our life scenario, sad with others, sad with ourselves. All because of a madeup Head Movie.

Instead, do not be attached to ideals and anticipations, and accept reality as it’s.

5. Grow a Plant

In Chapter 12, he writes about the theory of the way in which a plant grows: you concentrate on giving it the appropriate stimulation (goals and attempt), like water and sunshine and nutrients … but you do not command the consequence of the plant. It grows the way that it is going to grow. All we can command are goals — we do not command consequences.

We have to focus on goals, without connection to results as we approach any scenario.

6. Infantile Thoughts

Another fundamental topic of the novel continues to be the Infantile Thoughts — that young kid inside of us that needs its manner. It does not enjoy doubt or distress, and it needs the Head Movie it’s created and relaxation. This causes us all sorts of issues by building discouragement throughout our own lives but in addition by creating the impulse to stop customs.

Instead, let us not listen to the Infantile Thoughts. Let go of the Self that needs the ideals, and we are able to live life actively.

7. Start to see the Mountains

In Zen Habits The Book, talks with regards to the passenger in the back seat of the automobile who’s so focused on getting to the destination, repeatedly saying “Are we there yet?” while missing the scene of the lovely mountains the auto is passing. Instead, do not miss out on the wonder of the present moment.

See every individual that you experienced, and each second, with Gratitude and Thanks. There is something to be thankful for, and also to be valued.

8. Dewlike Life

If we recall the fleetingness of the life, we spend each minute on something important: being compassionate to others, enhancing our well-being, creating something awesome, enhancing our customs, not being upset with others and are able to value each minute for the special gift it is. Do not waste a minute.

Adapted from Zen Habits The Book

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