After reading Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind this past January, I started meditating 10 minutes a day for its health and wellness benefits.
Almost immediately I began noticing a difference. My energy, focus, and empathy all began to increase. Meditation is all about clearing your mind: your thoughts are nothing more than thoughts, so it's best not to spend too much time on them.
Now, I start most days with a 20-minute reflection.
The impact meditation has had on me got me interested in learning more about Zen.
Zen is a Japanese school of Mahayana Buddhism emphasizing the value of meditation and intuition.
Because of my growing interest in Zen, a friend a friend recommended I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert Pirsig.
Published in 1974, the novel is considered a classic for its introduction of eastern philosophy, religion and thought to a Western audience.
ZAMM tells the story of a cross-country road trip between the protagonist, his son Chris, and their friends John and Sylvia.
Motorcycle maintenance, Pirsig argues, is very similar to the practice of achieving Zen.
100 pages in, and I'm really digging the book. I've spoken at length about how this year I've been working on seeking contentment, so poignant quotes like the ones below hit pretty close to home.
'What's your hurry?' I ask.
'I just want to get going."
'There's nothing up ahead that's any better than it is right here.'
I tend to overthink things. Which is even more difficult considering I also like achieving things.
In order to improve that, I've been working on improving my appreciation for the MANY blessings I'm lucky enough to be a part of, something that Zen (and ZAMM) promotes.
Once I wrap up the book I'll be sure to follow up with you guys here and let you know how it was.