What is Zen & Who Needs It
As Definded by Bee
Zen, for the purposes of this post, is descriptive of a calm, still, peaceful state of being (I hear some of you Bees laughing at me, I know, me too). Mindfulness, again, in relation to this post, is defined, in a few words as – awareness of oneself. And meditation is the journey to mindful zen.
This particular post was written to bring our busy Bees with a few practical methods of achieving zen (if just for a moment).
Are you in Need of a Bit of Zen?
Who will find Zen in Meditation?
Meditation is for everyone. You read that right.
- Moms and dads
- Little ones
- The entire workforce of the world
- Striving students
- Teachers, police officers, musicians…
- Seriously, everyone!
Benefits of Meditating for Zen
The benefits of meditation and it’s effects on the human brain are not only astounding, they are scientifically proven to better your mind, brain, and life. Cary Barbor, a health writer and editor for the last 15 years has the following to say on a study published in the journal Stroke:
Here are 10 case studies providing scientific proof that meditation has miraculous benefits for the human body, mind and brain:
- Overcome stress (University of Massachusetts Medical School, 2003)
- Boost your creativity (ScienceDaily, 2010)
- Improve your sex life and increase your libido (The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2009)
- Cultivate healthy habits that lead to weight loss (Journal Emotion, 2007)
- Improve digestion and lower blood pressure (Harvard Medical School)
- Decrease your risk of heart attack (The Stroke Journal, 2009)
- Help overcome anxiety, depression, anger and confusion (Psychosomatic Medicine, 2009)
- Decrease perception of pain and improve cognitive processing (Wake Forest University School of Medicine, 2010)
- Increase your focus and attention (University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2007)
- Increase the size of your most important organ— your brain! (Harvard University Gazette, 2006)
So I hope you enjoy the rest of this post and learn a few tricks on inviting a bit ‘o zen into your life!
Check out Modern Mom on benefits for pregnancy and more: Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD sifted through nearly 19,000 meditation studies, they found 47 trials that addressed those issues and met their criteria for well-designed studies. Their findings, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggest that mindfulness meditation can help ease psychological stresses like anxiety, depression, and pain. Read the whole article: Harvard Health Publications
What Zen is Not
Zen, mindfulness and medication are not, what some call, hoaxes. They are not fads. The benefits of meditation are not imagined or exaggerated. The gift of awareness, calmness, peacefulness, understanding, serenity is not a lie. They are scientifically proven and are very attainable. You can (and should) start on your path, right now.
You Need a Little Zen in Your Life — Trust Me
Stresses of the modern world make it so easy to forget what life is really about. Often times we don’t think about the fact that we really need just food, shelter, and each other to make life worth living. We are stuck in a vicious circle of making money, spending more money.
This happens, I speculate, because, like the rest of the animal kingdom, we are peacocks in need of showing off. I mean, it’sprobably impossible for us not to compare our car to another, our home to our neighbors, kids grades to the grades we got as youth. So it’s not entirely our fault that we’re wired that way. It’s really in the name of evolution. I guess thats the trump over the food and shelter, huh?
But isn’t is so funny that true happiness is right here, under our noses, begging to be grabbed and held onto yet we pay thousands of dollars for therapy, drugs, and other unhealthy activities just to get through the day?
How to Achieve Mama Zen (The Quick Guide)
How to Mediate
- sit comfortably with your back straight
- let your muscles relax all tension
- stay in a focused state of mind
- breathe concisely concentrating on your breath and its point of entry or destination (nose or stomach)
- be aware of how it feels (cold, warm, tingly, filling, fresh, invigorating, etc…)
- when you get lost in thoughts, come back to the breath
- repeat as your mind strengthens and allows itself to settle on the breath for long and longer periods of time.
Still clueless? Let the adorable mouse do the talking in this awesomely short video:
When to Meditate
This one is easy. Anytime. You cannot meditate too much. In fact, the more you put in, the more you get out!
How Long to Meditate
Some will tell you the longer the better. They are not wrong. But! Science shows that even a few minutes a day is drastically better than none at all. So even it’s 5 minutes a day, you’ll reap the benefits for sure!
Tips on Meditating
Aromatherapy. Smells play a huge roll on your mood so light some candles or incense to make your session an aromatically pleasant one.
Music zen. Play soft meditating music while meditating to help you settle your mind. You can find a ton of meditating music on YouTube. Look for ones that will last as long as you’re planning to meditate for to avoid a rude silence.
Dear zen diary. Keep a before an dafter journal. Write down how you’re feeling before. If theres something in particular bothering you, either mentally or physically, jot that down too. Once you’re done meditating, record your state of mind and being. there is no goal to this other than keep a record of your progress.
Mind racer. When you are plagued with thoughts throughout your meditation session, it’s very important not to get frustrated. Just shoo them! And by shoo them I mean let them pass by and dissolve on their own. Here is a quote that helps me focus during meditation.
Last Zen Tips
When I am beyond annoyed and frustrated, I found that saying what I am thankful for out loud helps tremendously. If you’re stuck in your moment and can’t think of anything just start with what you’re given this very second. You might say something like, “I am thankful for today. I am thankful for my breath. I am thankful for my senses. I am thankful for my eyes, mouth, ears, heart, skin, bone, mind, freedom, food, water, sun, rain, earth, air, atmosphere, clothes, car, home, running water, electricity, heat, etc…” Really, just look around and find a way to be thankful. After all, it’s not a given it’ll be here in five minutes so take the time to acknowledge just how blessed we all are.
- Give thanks. Nothing is too small to count. Nothing is too large. So get grateful for your tastebuds and the moon up above. Not only is it scientifically proven to make your life better; it’ll start working almost immediately.
- Brew your favorite tea and tickle your senses with delicious taste and aromas.
- Eat well. You are what you eat (and snack). Here at BAM we love Abes Healthy Snacks & Organic Snack Foods
- Give a mantra a shot. Here’s more info on mantras from Finer Minds.
- Smile. It’s infectious.
- Do something nice for someone you love.
- Do something nice for a stranger.
- Learn. Take a course. Teach yourself mindfulness, a 10 week selfstudy course to become mindful.
- Try progressive muscle relaxation. Click here to let Cathy show you how.
- Express your creativity. It lives in all of us — effortlessly bring out your creative side with Buddha Board Inc.
- Don’t stress. You’re going to fail. Everyone does. So there is no winners. Don’t stress over fumbles. Just breathe.
Your Turn Bees
Did you enjoy reading this post? I enjoyed writing it so I hope you’ll take a second to say hello and share your thoughts. Got tips on getting your crazy mind on track while running errands with the kids? We’re all ears!!!
10 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Meditation. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://yoganonymous.com/benefits-of-meditation-10-scientifically-proven-facts/
Cary Barbor,. (2001, May 1). The Science of Meditation | Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200105/the-science-meditation
Medical Benefits of Meditation – ModernMom. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.modernmom.com/2c52fab0-051f-11e2-9d62-404062497d7e.html
Wong, C. (2015, July 1). Progressive Muscle Relaxation – What You Need to Know. Retrieved from http://altmedicine.about.com/od/treatmentsremedies/a/Benefits-Of-Progressive-Muscle-Relaxation.htm
Together, they explore the topics of gentle parenting, healthy eating, grateful thinking, yoga bending, nifty hacking, green living, soul searching, and mindfulness practicing.
She has lived many lives. She has seen great beauty and utter darkness. It makes her whole. She is strong and with your presence, support, and love right here, right now ever stronger!!!
Read more about her by visiting the Meet the Bee page or email her right now!
We hope you enjoy the adventures of Chewy & Bossy!