The door flung open, bells slashing loudly and abruptly against the wooden molding. She raced in, tearing her coat off, kicking her shoes from her feet, keys dangling from her teeth. Her breath was heavy, forehead glistening with sweat. And, as the other students sat on their mats waiting for class to begin, she looked up through her tousled bangs and shouted, “I’m here to get my Zen on!”
Since when do we live in a world where we must turn our Zen on? Why is it we need to make formal space in order for us to experience such a natural state?
What would happen if we no longer forced spaces in our day for “being in the moment” and instead each day naturally contained them — opportunities for breathing deeply and richly, moments of acute awareness of and engagement in our surroundings, and action from a place of compassion and kindness? What if every day included time to play, to create, to enjoy our food and each other – not scheduled time, but naturally occurring moments in our day? What if we could let go of goals and outcomes so that all of our actions could naturally lead to positive end results?
A few weeks ago, my mom greeted a work colleague with a question – “What are you doing tomorrow, on your day off?” The friend paused and, after rendering a bit of a puzzled expression, said, “I don’t have days on and days off…I just have days.” He went on to explain that there is no difference in his experience of “work days” and “non-work days” as he treats every day as a gift and finds reward and ease in each day.
That is getting your Zen on!
Class ended. She slowly stood up with a soft sparkle now in her eyes and a gentle smile in the corners of her mouth. Her movement was easeful, her air calm and floaty – she was almost unrecognizable from the form we saw racing in the door just an hour before. She stood back and let others move first through the doorway. She asked one student about their health, another where they had been the prior week. She had an awareness about her, an aura of wisdom, an unbridled confidence, without arrogance.
She had indeed gotten her Zen on and hopefully it will stay with her a little longer each time it happens until she arrives at that place where her Zen evenly flows throughout each and every day.
Until then, we’ll keep the light burning, the door open, and hold a space for her and all the others who are racing to get their Zen on.