The principles of Zen more than a thousand years, and in our hectic world, they become only more urgent. A few fun exercises from the book by French psychologist and psychotherapist Eric Pisani (Erik Pigani) "How to keep a Zen calm in a troubled world" will help to overcome the stress, frustration and perplexity, to feel the peace and clarity of thoughts.
1. "Bank pic"
Have you ever counted the grains of rice? This is one of the most famous Zen training exercises patience and calm mind. It is recommended to repeat once a week.
Take two identical glasses. One to the brim, fill with rice and put the seeds into another Cup, counting them. When you are finished, write down the result. (Don't grumble: in China, you would be asked to number each piece of rice, put the figure... at the grain!) Then again put the seeds in an empty Cup, counting them. Check the result: it needs to be the same.
Take crayons and color in each grain in the picture with a certain color:
2. The list of questions
Make a list of questions – but not arbitrary, and those that you don't know the answer. They can concern any topic: your childhood, family secrets, the afterlife, aliens, the steam engine, the meaning of life, secrets... no limit. Turn off your phone, mobile phone, TV, radio and Wi-Fi. Sit comfortably with a sheet in hand and start. As you write questions, happens a surprising thing: to begin a "cleansing" of the brain. Requiring it to work on the questions that remained unanswered, you are forcing the brain to test millions of data, images, memories, events. It is a form of introspection, which opens a new internal breathing and allows you to understand yourself.
What to do next with this list? Just add this question to your list... 3. Write down everything that comes to mind
Take the paper and let the words... Everyone. And don't try to get my thoughts in order. This is one great way to relieve the brain and calm down.
Take a drive with the favorite song, put it out and sing. No matter you have a musical ear or not, focus on the words of the song. Sing it again. You will feel freer and lighter.
Find 20 minutes to walk around the block sure step, not too fast and not too slow. Focus on your breathing. Breathe slowly and as deeply as possible by relaxing the diaphragm. Walking, carefully consider the details around as if seeing everything for the first time. Just don't turn your head, just change the direction of view.
6. Pretend you are calm
The level of stress where you are, doesn't matter – pretend you are calm. Feel like the actor who played on stage the role of a quiet man: slow down movement quite a bit; breathe a little slower, smile at everyone quite a bit. After a few minutes you really will calm down.
This technique works well for two reasons. The first is psychological: feigning calm demeanor, you make the subconscious mind believe that you are calm. And our subconscious mind loves to imagine and play the role. It will, therefore, affect our external condition. The second reason is physiological in nature: in 1994, the US has conducted scientific research with the participation of the actors. They were asked to play different emotions: joy, anger, fear, calmness, depression. Each time the measured physiological parameters (pulse, respiratory rate) and took a blood test. The results were identical to those which were obtained with real emotions! 7. Be... Zen!
"A full awareness of the here and now" – not exclusively the state of Zen, but also the best cure for stress.
As soon as you feel that stress increasing, the call to myself everything that I do.
When you go, saying to himself: "I'm going."
When making Breakfast, saying to himself:
"I'm making Breakfast".
When you put the plate in place, saying to himself:
"I put the plate in its place."
When you sit in your car, saying to himself:
"I sit in my car"... and so on.
Too easy? Try it and see...
© E. Pagani "to preserve the tranquility of Zen in a hectic world"
Eric Pisani is a regular contributor to Psychologies French (since 1987!), a specialist in the field of transpersonal psychology and author of books on personal development.