6 Zen Principles That May Change Your Life + 5 Questions To Power Up Your Day


Top Of The Morning To You!

There is nothing I love more than getting up at the crack of dawn to luxuriate in the peacefulness of the rising sun. Curled up under a soft white blanket. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee filling the room. Holding my book in one hand while caressing my purring little 'Noushie'. What's your favorite morning ritual?

This week:

  • 💡 6 Zen Principles That May Change Your Life

  • ✍ 5 Questions To Power Up Your Day

  • 🧠 Thought I’m pondering on

💡 6 Zen Principles That May Change Your Life

The more years a book has lived the more I adore it. Ah, the smell!! Most recently when visiting our local second-hand book shop, I picked up an absolute gem on Zen Buddhism.

What is Zen Buddhism and how is it relevant to my life?

The challenge Zen poses us is to reach deeply into the experience of being alive to find something authentic, some real light. Even if, it is only the light of a small glow-worm, the effect can be profound. What makes Zen Buddhism so unique is the emphasis on learning by doing, instead of studying or intellectualizing its teachings. This may be one of the reasons why Zen resonates so deeply with today's entrepreneurs.

Today I want to share with you six Zen principles that you can incorporate into your daily routine to bring focus and clarity back into your life.

  1. Adjust Your Posture, Adjust Your Breathing, Adjust Your Mind.

    It all starts with good posture. When you sit up tall, your gut and organs expand, allowing you to take deep, restorative breaths. This leads to heightened focus and clarity. According to Zen teachings, the mind and body are inextricably linked – you cannot achieve mental clarity without making physiological adjustments. This is why Zen Buddhist monks – no matter how old – tend to have impeccable posture.

  2. Be Light Like Water In Your Social Interactions.

    Chinese philosopher Zhuang Zi once said that relationships should be light like water. Though we now live in a time of oversharing and hyper-connectivity, the most sustainable way to cultivate meaningful relationships is to tread lightly into others’ lives and delineate between yourself and others. This protects you from being swayed by others’ needs and allows you to make space for your own vision and long-term goals.

  3. Align Your Words With Your Actions.

    Zen Buddhism places a heavy emphasis on the alignment between your words and actions. In other words, don’t just talk the talk – walk the walk. Those who speak in a way that is consistent with their actions invite progress and clarity into their lives – not to mention meaningful relationships based on honesty and trust. Pay close attention to the way you speak and how it coincides with your actions.

  4. Cultivate Your Inner Safe Space.

    A folktale from the Later Han Dynasty describes an old medicine vendor who gets sucked into a large vessel. A passerby follows suit, only to discover a hidden paradise where he is showered with kindness and time flows slowly. When he returns to reality, he discovers that he has been gone not for days but for an entire decade. The moral of this story is that we can all cultivate an inner paradise to which we can return, unbound by time or obligations.

  5. Cherish Every Encounter.

    Widely used in tea ceremonies, this Zen principle – and fundamental cultural concept in Japan – describes the ephemeral nature of human encounters. When tea masters Sen no Rikyu and Ii Naosuke served tea to their guests, they moved with remarkable deliberation to honor the fact that the meeting could never be repeated or replicated – it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. In Zen, we are encouraged to treat all human encounters as sacred and irreplaceable.

  6. Surround Yourself With People You Admire.

    Back in the day, clothes were stored away with an aroma pouch to keep them fragrant – so when you put on a robe that had been stored away for a while, you were enveloped in a fine aroma. The robe itself was odorless, of course – but the fragrance that it inherited elevated the experience of getting dressed in the morning. This principle can be applied to interpersonal relationships: surround yourself with people you admire, and soon you too may inherit their fine qualities.

✍ 5 Questions To Power Up Your Day

One of the greatest gifts of being human is our ability to choose what to focus on. If you are perfectly calm and still on the inside, you can handle anything. For those of us without Zen training, here are the 5 questions I ask myself every morning to power up my day:

  1. How Do I want To Feel Today?

  2. What Am I Grateful About In My Life Today?

  3. How Will I Make A Difference Today?

  4. In What Ways Will I Cultivate Vitality Today?

  5. What Will I Do For Myself Today?

🧠 Thought I’m pondering on

As we welcome crisp fall days, I am committed to keeping you fired up, feeling strong and inspired from the inside out.

Let’s go!

Thank you for being here today. Sending so much love your way. ♥

Louise ~