Monday, September 29, 2014

Why You Should Take Zen Very Seriously

Some readers may think that Zen is total nonsense. However, you should take Zen practices very seriously for the following reasons.

1. No-mind, or flow, is the ideal performance state.

To the extent that you regulate your breathing, suspend extraneous thoughts and judgments, stay fully present, and flow, you will put yourself in a state that allows for optimal performance in any sport or activity, including Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, and metabolic conditioning (CrossFit) workouts.

2. Over time, daily meditation will increase your focus, discipline, awareness, presence, and mindfulness.

When you meditate, you are observing your thoughts in the present moment and learning how to disassociate yourself from them and focus on your breathing. Thus, meditation in itself is an exercise in focus, discipline, awareness, presence, and mindfulness. So, if you exercise your skills in focus, discipline, etc. for 20 minutes per day, then these skills will improve significantly over time.

3. Meditation will help relieve stress and anxiety.

In my experience, meditating twice or thrice per day is just as relaxing as taking a nice, two-week vacation. How would you like to take a relaxing mental vacation once, twice, or thrice per day? Then meditate.

4. Staying fully present will increase your situational awareness and help you stay safe in a given environment.

If you’re fully present when driving, riding a train, walking down the street, running, or lifting weights, then you will be highly aware of your surroundings and recognize potential hazards and danger. Thus, you will minimize your chances of getting into an accident, tripping, falling, hurting yourself, etc.

However, if you’re highly distracted when driving, walking, running, etc., then you significantly increase your chances of getting into an accident, tripping, etc.

Therefore, stay fully present, minimize distractions, and do not multi-task. In particular, when driving, just drive. Do not text or use your smartphone intensively, lest you get into an accident. This is a public safety issue that Zen fully addresses.

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