This little piece of word play is a mondegreen for “world peace.” It is seen on bumper stickers and textbook covers. I once saw it spray-painted on a railway bridge in Berlin, Germany. The humor makes the idea stick in your mind. And for me, it temporarily removes some of the sadness about our lack of peace in this world. Oh sure, we all want world peace, but what are we willing to do about it?
Here is one possible answer I’d like you to consider: Creating inner peace promotes outer peace.
If you create peace inside yourself, you will naturally project some of that peacefulness outside yourself—not only to the immediate area around you, but it will also influence other people you know and interact with.
A person who is at peace on the inside is less concerned with world domination. Such a person is also less concerned with wealth and power. Inner peace seems to be an antidote for hate, violence, and aggression. But can that change the world?
When groups of people focus on their own inner peace, one result is a larger, more peaceful area around and among them. If that can be done consistently and on a large scale, it will manifest a culture of peace. This is what creates a movement. And movements can change the world.
Zen is the practice of inner peace and a search for inner knowledge. To help you get started, I’ve put together a little ebook Original Zen which is based chiefly on the teachings of Bodhidharma, the world’s greatest Zen master.
Did you know that people who meditate regularly are less vulnerable to addictive behaviors? Google it and you will find evidence from a number of sources. So, what is it about meditation that can help you break free of your addictions?
The answer is simple: Attaining the true meditative state is primarily about mind control. In order to achieve that meditative state, you must learn to still your conscious mind. You must learn to stop thinking for a few minutes now and then. That is also called Zen meditation.
Achieving the Zen meditative state means that one part of your mind must develop control over another part. You must learn to center yourself in a higher level of your mind where you can “look down” in a way to observe the actions of your conscious mind thought machine. Once you achieve that separation (both during meditation as well as going about your daily life), you will slowly develop control over the thought process.
As part of that self-training and practice, you develop the ability to “live” in a higher level of your mind and more easily influence activities of parts of your mind lower in the hierarchy. You learn to tell your conscious mind, “No!” when it wants to misbehave. You learn to notice when your conscious mind leans toward behaviors the higher you wants to avoid. You learn how to steer it away from undesired behaviors.
We’ve gone over this before. Maybe a hundred times. No, wait, I exaggerate. Yes, I’ve gone through it lots of times, but not here. In this blog, maybe just once or twice.
Zen is the pathway to discovering your own inner nature and finding the knowledge that is stored deep inside you, which is knowledge you were born with.
It is not a religion. It does not have a belief system. It is a pathway of discovery. That’s all it is. But the discovery is inward. That’s the trick. Try it. It’ll take you to places you’ve never been. And it’s very simple. Just sit down in a quiet place and make your mind be quiet.
If you try it and you like it, read about the Original Zen that was taught by Bodhidharma himself, the world’s greatest Zen master.
In western civilization, the fear of death is so common and widespread that most people feel uneasy just talking about it. I try not to be uncaring about peoples’ fear. But that is such a silly fear. I feel empathy for their suffering. I’m reminded of my big brave Doberman and how terrified she is of the vacuum cleaner. She can’t understand that it’s just a noisy machine. Likewise, most people can’t understand that death is just a normal transformation and nothing to be afraid of.
Yes, your body will die. But the spiritual being within you will not. It is a fundamental law of our universe. Energy and matter can neither be created nor destroyed; it is merely transformed from one state to another. Your spiritual being is an energy form. After your flesh and blood begins its transformation back into the dust from which it came, your spiritual being will go on to its next adventure. Yee hah! To me, that is exciting.
Apparently, when a human spirit enters a fetus, usually somewhere around the fourth month in its mother’s womb, that spiritual entity brings with it memories from its previous adventures. Now, I know that people in our culture are very skeptical about past-life memories. But when they do some of the work and start recalling some of those memories, attitudes change very quickly.
Once you know that you’ve lived before—and therefore that you’ll live again—you will be able to laugh at death. Just as I do.
But how can you do that in the face of terrible situations? The suggestion is easy to make, but few people really know how to do it. The next time you hear somebody tell you to keep a good attitude when everything around you is going all to hell, ask them exactly how you should do it. They’ll probably offer you a stiff drink or suggest tranquilizers. But we all know that doesn’t change anything.
I learned from a fat old guy who lived 2,500 years ago (or rather I learned from what he wrote) exactly how that positive attitude trick works. And it works without using any booze or drugs. I practiced doing what he did, and I learned how to do it.
After I had practiced it for a long time, I took a master’s program in psychology to see if I could figure out how it works—and why. Then, I wrote a little book about what I learned. I published it as an ebook to make it inexpensive enough so that almost anybody can afford it. It’s cheap, but you must have Internet access and a device that will display an ebook.
As soon as enough ebooks are sold, I plan to publish that book in paper and ink. The paperback will also be inexpensive for the reason that I want this book to be available to everybody on the planet who would like to learn the “secrets” of Original Zen.
Is your life miserable? Does your mind keep generating thoughts about ending your life? If so, you’re not alone. Entirely too many people choose to end their life. Because their life sucks.
Some wise person—actually, it was a number of people—wrote: The human condition is suffering. I never realized how true that is until I spent a few years doing counseling work. I admire people who do that work. But I’m just not cut out for it. I got away from clinical psychology and opted instead for doing inner development. It’s the “be all you can be” department of psychology. It’s more fun, and we lose fewer people to suicide.
Now in my eighth decade in this body, I’m glad to say that I’ve finally made a tiny little contribution toward the prevention of suicide. It’s a book called Original Zen that shows a pathway out of misery and suffering. It’s also my pathway. It works better than drugs and booze, and it doesn’t cost anything but a little time and effort.
I’ve known for a long time that Zen is a great antidote to misery. It’s been working for me since I was a miserable 21-year-old with frequent thoughts of self-destruction. I know from experience a consistent practice of Zen meditation generally makes a person happier every day which—in most cases—takes away the desire to leave this life.
Zen is actually what my meditation practice is called. Well, more or less. I suppose you can meditate without it being Zen. But you certainly can’t practice Zen without meditating.
First, I apologize for being away such a long time. I’ve posted to this blog only once in the past year. My excuse is that I’ve been working on a book titled Original Zen that was recently launched as an ebook on amazon. Until today, nearly all of my writing time in the last year was devoted to that book.
My definition of Zen is this: Zen is the pathway to discovering your own inner nature and finding the knowledge that is stored deep inside you, which is knowledge you were born with.
I’ve been meditating most of my adult life. But I didn’t discover until about two decades ago that what I’d been doing all the years was actually Zen meditation. And even then, I didn’t especially want to write about Zen because I didn’t feel like I knew enough. However, that initial discovery motivated me to begin reading and studying more in depth about the practice I began fifty-three years ago.
Finding the Zen pathway led me to more discoveries. Now, the knowledge of who I am and why I’m here helps make sense of this life. Unless you’ve gotten your own clear picture of your purpose in life, you can’t imagine what a satisfying feeling it is.