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Archive for March, 2020

Thich Nhat HanhThe ABC’s of Shokai’s Zen Wisdom

Kathleen Shokai Bishop

The world is a place today that seems to increase our fears and anxieties. It can affect everyone from the elderly to the toddlers. Thus, learning how to meditate and use mindfulness techniques, positive thinking, and affirmations will help you to move your life from the mundane to the divine.

I hope you like the ideas being shared.  I hope you’ll use them and share them with your family and friends.  Using them on a regular and consistent basis helps a lot.

Find a time of day and a location where you can sit, stand, or walk without distractions.  You might have to go into the bathroom and lock the door like the lady on the cookie commercial who is hiding there so she has some peace and quiet to savor every bite of the cookie without distractions!

Remember affirmations begin with believing that you are all of these wonderful things whether you know it now or not.  Simply focus on them and make them a part of your thought patterns regularly.  If you embrace them and live by them and with them and share them with others your life can be transformed!

A

I am all-inclusive, absolute, and appreciated.  Attainment comes by seeing my true nature awakened in me now.

B

Bad or good– who can say?  Maybe good, maybe bad—less judging will make me happy, healthy, and wise.

C

I cut off useless and negative thoughts and I see the best in myself. I discover there is no place that I cannot go. No joy that I cannot experience. No goals that I cannot attain.

D

I let go of all Duality and see oneness and love in everyone and everything.

E

Every day is a new day. I open my eyes to love, peace, and compassion for the earth and all things…plants, animals, and people who call it home.

F

Fun and friends are in my life each and every day as we support and encourage each other.

G

The great way is simple.  I express my life through words and deeds filled with peace, joy and compassion.

H

Happy is as happy does. Today I take the time to see joy and laughter in the most unusual way.

I

I imagine myself in the most uplifting and exciting places and situations today.

J

Joy is catchy!  I spend this day spreading joy everywhere! The world needs more joy let’s spread it together!

K

Kids and kittens need some lovén!  Today my adventure is to share my love and kindness with kids and kittens… how fun is that!?

L

Today I release all lack and limitation from my life and fill it with loads of good things, thoughts, people, and opportunities!

M

Mom’s day is today.  I celebrate all the mom’s around the world who sacrifice so much for so many children that are in need of love and encouragement.  Make today special for a mom!

N

New ideas are bursting within me.  New thoughts, new friends, new work, new health, and new life.  I am open to all the good that is here for me today!

O

Oh is my call of wonder and questions. Oh WOW is my reaction to a delicious bowl of oatmeal that warns my tummy and opens up my taste buds. Oh my how great is that!

P

Chang Jian writes
Here, beside a clear deep lake,
You live accompanied by clouds;
Or soft through the pine the moon arrives
To be your own pure-hearted friend.

Q

Q is for my beautiful boxer Queenie who was with me for many years when I was growing up.  Queenie was shy and afraid and needed my protection sometimes.  She taught me about being scared and being brave enough to do it anyway…

R

When we retreat are we going on a wonderful vacation or adventure or are we going to hide from someone, or something, or from ourselves? We can make it depending upon our state of mind…  Which state are you in today?

S

Special is the first word that comes to mind that starts with the letter “S.” I know that you are special and so am I and so is everyone that we know.  We were born unique, we live uniquely, and there will never be anyone exactly like us ever again!  How special is that!

T

Together life is special and divine, when walking hand in hand or on a tandem bike, or on a raft floating down the river in June.

U

Until I live a life of peace, love, and happiness I will be the wander and the loner…that is until I ask for your hand and your help and your smile.

V

Variety is the spice of life— so they say.  Not sure who “they” are but I love variety in friends, food, and flowers and so many other things!

W

‘’Wherever one may wander, one is greeted by old friends’’ so  it says in the 10 Oxhearding story.  Even when we meet a stranger they can quickly become a great friend if we are open to it.  Today I make a new friend!

X

How exacerbating it is when you are challenged to say something about the letter “x.” The only thing that comes into my mind is X-ray…well it has given me an excellent chuckle and another “x.”

Y

Yearning for something can be good, bad, or indifferent.  It all depends on how MUCH I am yearning and for what.  Right now I’m yearning to get this task finished! And the yearning will be over very soon as the only letter left is “Z”!

Z

Zero in Zen is like any other thing and no thing, and everything.  Oh, how wonderful is that!?  Thus, this zero means no more writing, no more letters of the alphabet, zip, zero, the end!

Namaste

References

A Flower Does Not Talk Zen Essays, Abbot Zenkei Shibayama, Nanzenji Monastery,                       Kyoto, Japan Translated by Sumiko Kudo. Charles E. Tuttle Company Rutland, Vermont

Zen Poems Selected and edited by Peter Harris, Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets, Alfred A. Knopf, NY.

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