06 Aug Zen Health and Wellness
A Quick Preamble:
A brief explanation of Zen is probably the way to go here, before we get into the “meat-and-potatoes” of what “Zen Health & Wellness” is all about – so here goes:
ZEN: a word that (to a born-and-bred westerner like me anyhow) seems very eastern, very mystical and definitely… peaceful..!?!
Well, actually… its meaning incorporates all the above and much more… the closest English translation of the meaning of Zen would, as far as I can tell, be “contemplation” – but this is only ‘close’… the word Zen is in fact, the Japanese pronunciation of Chan, which is a subsequent Chinese translation of Dhyana, which is a Sandskrit term that means “Meditation”..phew… !
Cutting To The Chase:
So, ‘Zen’ itself can’t be completely explained in words because it’s not so much a physical belief in something, but more of an ‘Attitude’ or a way of life… it refers to your own personal form of ‘enlightenment’ through meditation and can be used as a major force in your approach to both your physical and your mental state of Natural Health & Wellness..!
It has, for many years, been proven and well documented that a short daily meditation session, preferably in a ‘natural’ (Zen) environment – I’ll go into more detail about that shortly – is extremely beneficial to a persons (your) health… it can:
• reduce your stress and heart rate
• reduce blood pressure
• reduce blood-sugar
• reduce pain
• improve your stamina
• improve your self-discipline
• improve your self-confidence
… which brings us to our main point – “Zen Health & Wellness” – exactly what this means for you and how to fit it into your daily health and wellness regime…
Choose Your Time…
It’s entirely your own choice – whatever works for you the best… but bear in mind the time you have on your hands at the various times of the day and also the effect that meditation can have on your mind and body.
It’s actually a strange mix of effects… it’s calming and centering, while at the same time it can be very invigorating and energising, both physically and mentally… so last thing at night, just before you hit the sack, may not be the best time for meditation.
Personally, I find I gain the greatest benefit from my meditations during the same period as my daily physical exercise… first thing in the morning – I exercise, rest a short while and then meditate… the combination is a sure-fire way of getting my physical and mental state ready for anything the day cares to throw at me.
My theory is, I’ve fasted because I’ve been sleeping, so no excess food in the gut to upset me… splash of cold water to the face, scrub the pearly-whites with something minty to kill the night-breath, glass of lukewarm water with a squeeze of lemon juice and get to it.
I know plenty of people that prefer to do it all in the evening and I know a few that meditate halfway through their day… we’re all different, so pick your time and go for it..!
Choose Your Spot…
This is probably one of the most difficult aspects of the ‘Natural Zen’ way of doing this – a decent “peaceful” space surrounded by nature, especially if you live in one our modern worlds’ glorious, noisy, smog and pollution-filled cities…
… but don’t despair, at least get yourself in a private, comfortable space – after all, you don’t need a lot – with some fresh air flowing through it and you’ll be good.
Now me, I prefer silence, or just the sounds of nature… the birds, the wind, rustling leaves the ocean etc… I’m good with that – I get distracted very easily… yep, you shoulda seen my school reports as a kid… !!
Others prefer some quiet music in the background or even specific meditation sounds or music that are available on CD these days – whatever is your preference, so long as you’re not pestered by distracting noise.
The key thing here really is: as natural as possible…
Choose Your Apparel…
Again, as natural as possible… loose, comfortable cotton, linen, silk or the yoga pants and vests for you women – I mean, you’ll have no need to tie yourself in uncomfortable knots while trying to get yourself into some sort of yoga position (I certainly can’t do that these days) but you need to be comfortable and be able to relax while carrying out your breathing and centering.
If it’s warm enough, I wear comfortable sports shorts, a loose ‘T’ and keep my feet bear… if it’s winter weather, then comfortable sports shoes, track-suit bottoms and a hoodie does it for me.
Choose Your Way…
This is important, your way of life, for perfect Zen: be as natural as you possibly can with EVERYTHING YOU DO, WEAR, USE or CONSUME…
Eat natural, wholesome, organic foods… use natural cottons, wool, silks etc., for your clothing, bedding and floor coverings… forget the plastic and other man-made furniture items – get back to nature with beautiful wood and cloth.
Allow nature to become a bigger part of your life – if it isn’t already… open the windows, go for walks on the beach or amongst the hills and trees, or at least just get out into the garden a bit more – embrace as many of the “natural” elements of your world as you can, every chance that you get.
Choose Your Method…
Breathing I mean… the breathing method you use for relaxing and centering yourself for your meditations.
I’m not actually going to go into the big detail for that here because there are many different choices and you’d be better off making your own choice after deciding which program or particular meditation method you intend to follow…
A Final Anecdote:
Natural health & Wellness Zen is ALL about being in touch with nature and living a lifestyle that invites as much nature and natural elements into your life as you can possibly squeeze in – when and wherever you can… it will definitely have a strong effect on your overall physical and mental health… what can possibly be wrong with that..?
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