Finding Inner Calm and Deeper Wisdom

Go Deep to Learn Who You Really Are.

Using Zen to Make Difficult Decisions

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Why and how can my Zen practice help me make difficult decisions? This is a real easy question to answer. It’s a no-brainer. Hopefully, I’ll be able to write one of my shortest blog entries ever.

Zen meditation is all about shutting down the conscious, thinking mind. When that happens, no thought occurs. But the rest of the whole mind can be just as active as ever—or even more active. Thus, with the noisy thought machine not hogging the stage, the whole mind (aka the “supermind”) is sometimes able to create images that come from other resources normally kept “behind the scene.” Voila! These other images often contain a special form of knowledge that I call true wisdom.

Among the most important resources of your deeper, non-conscious mind are your intrinsic values. They are the basic guidelines built into your core being that tell you what is really important in your life. Normally they are covered up by all the noise from your conscious mind. Only when the conscious mind is stilled can you access your core values.

Here’s how you use Zen to make a tough decision: Relax. Think about the decision and all the factors surrounding that decision. Now meditate. With the thought machine stopped, a clear answer based on your intrinsic value may pop into view. If not, repeat these three steps.

One caveat: If you don’t have an already-established practice of Zen meditation, this suggestion is unlikely to work. Establish your practice now, when you don’t need it. Don’t try to start a meditation practice when you’re being marched to the gallows.

Written by Eduardo Mitchell

May 24, 2014 at 10:36 am

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