Soyen Shaku was the first Zen Buddhist master to sail to the United States. He was a Rinzai master.
Shaku’s Zen priests thought it was wrong to teach their teachings in America at the time of his arrival. Japan considered the West mostly barbaric.
Shaku declined the invitation, however, and sailed to Chicago in 1893 for the first official gathering of world religions to represent Zen priests.
At the convention, and throughout his life, Zen master Shaku shared ten rules that he used until his death.
1) Fearless like a Hero, yet loving like a child
Many people see Zen religion as one, pragmatic disconnectedness. As if Zen practice is tied to a condition called apathy.
This is not true, however.
Zen believes in being present in the moment and is mindful of the present.
This means making the most of the moment, in all aspects including how we interact and how we view the world.
We shouldn’t give up when adversity strikes, and we shouldn’t let our hearts become hardened by the experience.
It is important to be mindful of the importance and value of all interactions, no matter if we are helping someone or intervening in a situation.
We need to be as brave as a hero, as well as loving and understanding children, knowing when we have to choose between courage and compassion.
2) Don’t say no to opportunities, but always think twice
Shaku believed that life should not be taken for granted. It is impossible to predict when an opportunity might present itself again so you need to think about it and take it seriously.
It will add value to your persona and it will not cause harm to the people around you.
3) Treat your guests the same way you would treat an act of being alone
We often switch personalities or faces when we have others in the house, as opposed to when we are all alone. Maybe we become more rigid or hide behind a mask and behave differently.
We can become unnatural in many ways due to the presence of another human being.
Shaku believes that guests should be able to feel the same presence as when they are with us.
We should also give our alone time as much attention and presence as we would to our guests.
4) You should sleep at a regular time
Although it might seem easy, Shaku believed in the importance of a consistent and responsible sleep schedule.
Despite being intellectual creatures, our bodies are still our driving force. We must be respectful of their limitations.
Proper sleep hygiene is key to how much energy you have both mentally and physically.
You can instill a sense of discipline by sleeping at the same hour each night. This will allow your body and mind to function optimally during the day.
5) Every morning, before anything else, light incense and meditate
According to Shaku, meditation should be your first act of the day.
Meditation is not only for meditation; lighting incense can also be a good option. Scientifically, the smell of incense can reduce stress and help you feel calm.
This ritual of tranquility and peace gives your body and mind something to look forward to each day.
It makes sure that each day begins with peace and calmness, so we can face the chaos around us.
Meditation is one of my favorite habits in life.
Over a 10-day course, I learned what “focused meditation” is.
It is as simple as focusing on something, such as your breath or an object, while your mind remains silent.
Although the training was hard, once I understood the basics of meditation and how it works, the rhyme became extremely helpful and calming.
Every morning, I now spend 20 minutes meditation. My focus and productivity have improved dramatically, as have my stress levels.
You can learn meditation and other mindfulness techniques that you can use throughout your day by reading my book The Art of Mindfulness.
I spent hours researching meditation science and the various mindful techniques that you can use in your everyday life.
It can help you just as much as it helped me.
6) Don’t Mourn the Past, Just Work for the Future
Although a Zen monk might preach the importance and importance of the present, it is important to remember the future.
Shaku believed that holding on to the past would only bring toxicity into your life. Instead, look ahead to the future and work towards the goals you set.
7) Be True to Your Word
Two points are made by Zen Master Shaku regarding this message. He says you must keep your word. This means you need to be careful what you say.
Words can start wars, break hearts and ruin lives. We don’t always see the weight of what we say until later.
You must be true to what you say. Be true to yourself and your words. You can also show respect for your dignity by acting as you speak. You will find inner peace if you can do this.
8) Eat to Live, Not To Eat
Shaku believed that moderation is key to good health. It is important to eat until you are full.
Many of us were taught to eat whatever we wanted, as long as our stomachs are not in pain.
However, eating to satisfy will only lead you to stress. Shaku realized that moderation was key to a healthy mind and body.
9) You Sleep as if it will be your last
10) Wake as if you will never wake again
What does this mean? Shaku simply meant that we should give our best effort to everything.
Be mindful of every action, no matter how small, that you take. Don’t waste your time being confused or distracted. Go to bed and get up with a purpose. You will eventually find it after some time.
Put yourself first
Lachlan, Hack Spirit here.
What is your top goal right now?
Is it worth saving up to buy the car you have been dreaming of?
Do you want to finally get started on a side-hustle that will hopefully allow you to quit your 9-5 job?
Oder to make the leap and ask your partner to move in.
No matter what your goal may be, you won’t get there unless you have a plan.
Even then, plans fail.
However, I did not write this to you to sound like a voice of doom…
Yes, I am writing this to help you reach the goals that you have set.
Jeanette Brown, a teacher and career coach, recently invited me to participate in the Life Journal workshop.
Jeannette covers all the basics, and more about what it takes to achieve your goals. She discusses everything from developing habits and creating new behavior patterns to actually implementing your plans.
Jeanette isn’t a fool – you will need to work hard, but that’s part of the charm of Jeanette’s workshop. Jeanette carefully designed it so that YOU can take control of your own life.
Now, think back to the important goal that I mentioned at the beginning of this message.
What is your budget?
Are you ready to make the effort to reach your goals?
You can find the workshop.
If you decide to participate, I would love to hear about your Life journey!