Remember the whole "you learn something new every day" thing? I've heard the word Zen bandied about multiple times over my adult years, and I had a general idea of what it meant, but I never knew exactly what it was until today. The benefits of research.
Turns out there's a rather lengthy and detailed Wikipedia article on the subject. I didn't read past the first paragraph, but you might find it interesting. According to my (newly revamped) favorite dictionary site, Zen is "a Mahayana movement, introduced into China in the 6th century A.D. and into Japan in the 12th century, that emphasizes enlightenment for the student by the most direct possible means, accepting formal studies and observances only when they form part of such means."
I like the British dictionary definition: "A Japanese school, of 12th-century Chinese origin, teaching that contemplation of one's essential nature to the exclusion of all else is the only way of achieving pure enlightenment."
Okay, so. Zen is that place within yourself that you go to achieve inner peace. More or less.
I'm down with that.
I don't take it quite so far as that, however. I'm leaning more toward the very surface level of the deeper philosophy that is Zen Buddhism--that is, just being able to sit quietly and contemplate life and the peacefulness of it. This particular part of my own little Zen comes, of course, from having God on my side.
And that's another post for another day.
So, do you Zen?
The June Writing Challenge is officially at an end. Tomorrow I'll look back over the second half of the alphabet and recap the whole month's worth of topics.
As briefly as I can, of course.
Until then, read a book!