Zen Mind: Observing, Not Reacting To Confusion

One of the hallmarks of Mindfulness, and Mindfulness Therapy parallels, and perhaps even borrows from Zen teachings that orient one to observe, not react.

I’m reading Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, to take a deeper look at some of the crossovers and underpinnings of Mindfulness.

In a time of great uncertainty and chaos, it is very easy to spend the day reacting, responding, and losing focus. Everyday I hear, and experience myself, “noise” and that creates distraction. 

Distraction results in the loss of attention, and the loss of attention creates inefficiency and the absence of productivity and creativity. Chaos makes the road to innovation windier than it needs to be.

Mindfulness has a calming effect. Why? It creates rules for simplicity. You sit, you breathe. It creates space for observation and reflection to put things in perspective. 

Here’s a perspective exercise I came up with after some Zen reading this morning.

Find the beginning of a circle. 

If you apply that concept (Yes, it’s a stretch of the mind) to other experiences during the day perhaps you can broaden your perspective. You can realize you are not in control. Having order is not the same as having control. 

Order comes from harmony and compassionate leadership…a term that has been thrown around a lot these days, even by Harvard Business Review. What is compassionate leadership? Simple. Appreciating your people. When you appreciate your co-workers and people in your organization, you don’t need control. Instead, you are creating order. 

Order defeats uncertainty. 

It gives hope.

So, take it easy on yourself today. Challenge yourself to relax, reflect, and consider when you’re traveling one mile east, you are also traveling one mile west.