# 1. What Nirvana/Zen is, and tips.
Well, now I’m in a place where I’m a zen master, tho we’ll see how long it lasts, and I’d prefer to see it as “Zen weirdo.” Yup, that’s right, I’m enlightened and living in Nirvanaland. I usually just tell people that I “feel a lot of Zen.” Truthfully, “zen” is the name of a meditation/practice method, rather than the sense of oneness and goodness, but the term also does work in a very zen kind of far-out way. So, I’m going to give my practical tips on finding it. Firstly, however, I’m going to describe what it is.
# 1.1: ZEN IS: Zen is essentially a really good feeling, one that comes from directly experiencing your world about you. Directly experiencing it means that you’re NOT experiencing your thoughts and judgments about things, you’re not ranking things or rehashing previous experiences. You simply focus on what you’re doing, even if it’s simply looking at a leaf or a wall. This brings you a kind of fun, sane, responsible, clear-headed joy, and as it transforms your life, some amount of success and a whole lot of happiness finds you.
To bring this more clearly into focus, here’s an example of what a zen master would do differently than Joe-Shmoe in an ordinary situation:
Joe-Shmoe and the Zen Master, let’s call him “Tommy,” simultaneously get stranded somewhere in the woods after their cars break down and have phoned for help, but it won’t come for three hours. Joe-Shmoe wonders what the fuck he’s going to do for three hours? What he actually does in that time is get pissed off at the guy he bought the car from, thinks about how fucked he is now that he doesn’t have a working car and how he’s going to pay for it and how much it might cost and how it’s getting cold and where the hell is the person who’s going to pick him up and why can’t they come sooner and….you get it.
Tommy, however, chills out. Three hours and nothing to do. Great! He unwinds and laughs about the car, comes up with a simple plan of how he’ll handle the car being fixed or replaced, considers how that’ll change his life, and then lets go. He spent about two minutes thinking. Now, he can do anything. He can watch the stars, so he does, and he wonders at how vast and far away they are, if there’s life on them, and what that life might be like, and laughs at the thought that they’re watching him now but can’t stop and help him out because they’ve got to anally probe someone else. He can watch his breath, because that’s fun, and watching the stars is profound, and he can play hacky sack if it’s still bright enough outside. He can stretch and exercise. He can take his phone out and write a poem on it. He can draw images in the dirt with a stick.
When the ride shows up, Joe is pissed or at least tense, but he may be a little relieved. Tommy had a blast and is excited so see this friend.
Nirvana is what allowed Tommy to have a blast. It made him carefree, easy, adaptable. It made the driver who picked him up burst out laughing when he arrived and found Tommy listening to music and dancing.
We’ve all felt Nirvana, or perhaps Zen, at some point. We got a girlfriend or boyfriend. We got a new car. We went on a roadtrip and stared out at the Grand Canyon. In short, we had a happy time, a time when we felt Zen. Maybe it was from psychedelics or maybe it was being a child watching leaves blow, or maybe it was when we got off of work and grabbed a beer and felt love, or the cool music festival we went to, or taking a walk in the woods or a happening city. This has to be differentiated from hypomania or mania, which is very much like winning The Price Is Right. Everything gets better and more exciting so quickly and we begin to discover our latent spiritual powers, but we go out of our minds like a moth into the flame. Everything becomes so bright, but not vivid, so intense and fun, but not quiet and reverent. You’ve elevated yourself to the level of God, but haven’t earned the humility and peacefulness and patience necessary to truly be like God. Zen is joyous, but it above all is mellow.
#1.2: Tips for Experiencing Zen:
been feeling pretty zenny lately
haha. that’s a good thing
or, maintaining it, that’s where i struggle
how long does it generally last?
depends on environmental factors, too
i’m afraid this might not be useful, it might be but it might not be. i guess the first part of my advice is to not worry about it. if it’s not there, it can be found, really out of simply focusing on your current experience. feel whatever you’re experiencing. it might be that there’s gunk rolling around in your head, so just let that go. that’s the best thing meditation is good for, is teaching you to let go of stuff
and recognizing when you’re holding on to stuff
work hard when you work. you can’t truly unwind unless yo get truly wound up
and then afterwards, unwind
practice small things like good hygiene and good sleep hygiene
it can still be organic, and should be
go on walks, read fun books, don’t watch too much tv
just give yourself care, essentially
and spend quality “me time”
if something’s bothering you, deal with it or let it go
i like all these tips! i try to unclog the brain holes and breathe slowly when i get too bogged down. i remember learning an exercise where u close your eyes and place each worry, one by one into a basket so it’s no longer getting in the way of your peace. then once that’s better, pause and enjoy it, give yourself a pat on the back, and try again
that sounds like a good practice
someone cool said that that’s the point of meditation and it certainly is a point of it.
what helps me the most, personally, is writing, usually fiction
mhmmm. that was always the hardest part for me in yoga, it wasn’t flexibility or balance, but at the end when we did corpse pose, to just breathe and feel and not think. that’s a challenge
you’ve got to just lose interest in your thoughts, i think
zen is the bliss of pure experience
that’s a good way to put it! haha, i do often get irritated with my own ramblings
just get in the habit of letting it go, recognizing your thoughts when you’re thinking them, realize it’s not all that important (or deal with it if it is, or do that practice you told me about) and just let go
zen is feeling the glory of your experience, that’s the bliss part, and it’s not *your* experience so much as it’s that which you are experiencing
okay. so take the time to acknowlege that this blliss of experience is better than whatever i may going on about in my head
that will definitely make it easier to quiet myself
you find you love things you never would have thought you’d love
empty beercan, the ambiance of rooms, everything
i had a zen friend when i was a kid and we’d talk about crappy horror movies and laugh and go to WalMart and test how comfortable different landline telephones were
i think having a writer’s mind helps, too. attention to detail. appreciation for detail. the subtle beauty in the ordinary.
we were the kids who would actually (if we had had one up here) walk into Jimmy John’s for the free smells
to do things just because…that sounds the best
or a photographer’s mind, or a musician’s mind (with sound)
it was really really good
right! small children are known to love sitting outside especially where they can watch leaves blowing in the wind. it’s mesmerizing to them. so i started watching the leaves again. i feel like…idk. just happy that i could go back to something that’s been there my whole life, and take something away from it again
it really is beautiful. you don’t have to control it, or know anything about it. just to see it, that’s all your heart needs
it transforms you as a person too
you end up being more productive because there’s zen in everything you do
but you know how to relax too
gotcha. i’m going to keep thinking about this stuff, we shall reconvene the discussion at a later date smile emoticon
you can let go of gnarly feelings too
just let go and let them radiate out of you
if there are thoughts trying to perpetuate the gnarly feelings, just respond to the thoughts, “that’s not that important.” cut it down.
keep doing that until you’re not defending the thoughts that are gnarly anymore
yeah, and be patient and forgiving with it
be forgiving of everything:
~~~That’s all, folks!~~~