principles of zen philosophy

5 Principles of Zen Philosophy for Career Growth

Zen philosophy is about learning by doing. It is a category of Buddhism, which is why it’s often recognized as Zen Buddhism. It is an ancient philosophy whose purpose is self-realization by practicing.

Zen do not try to solve mysteries of the universe such as how the universe was created or god. It is about accepting and more about inner being. 

Zen = Meditation = Be in Present => Enlightenment.

Zen philosophy is different from other religious philosophies because it encourages practitioners to implement theoretical ideas. Other philosophies use theoretical approaches for self-realization with use of stories, rituals, etc.

Zen masters believe that awakening (self-realization) is not possible only with intellectual knowledge. We need to engage our whole being right in the heart of the present moment.

How Zen Principles can uplift career?

Zen principles encourage joyfulness, happiness, and acting on thoughts. All these positive emotions and behaviors, if not directly but indirectly play the most important role to uplift our careers.

To make sense of it, visualize if you start being in the present with no stress of future, being focused on your designated work or thought and begin to look for happiness in the present moment. You will never need any reason for happiness. Hence, live an uplifting life.

Zen is independent of reasons.

You don’t need reasons to live a joyful life, all you need is to learn to live with present moment.

We forgot that there’s a difference between being alert and awake to what is going on and being lost in our work or projects, or drowning ourselves in consuming to cover up, escape from or numb ourselves to what is actually happening. 

[ Recommended Reading: The Zen Way ]

5 Principles of Zen Philosophy

Doing everything, practice to stay in the present.

How often did you walk/drive to work without thinking about it? Didn’t jump to thoughts while bathing! Maybe never.

We have made NOT being in present as our default state. Days keep on passing and our mind is wandering somewhere else.

If our mind is somewhere else, it means we are trying to be someone else, not who we are in the present moment. However, by practicing awareness, we can train ourselves to respond to distractions in a positive way and increase our capacity to give full attention to the task or relationship before us.

It can be possible by practicing meditation. Starting with focusing on breath.

Try this: Close your eyes (after reading these instructions first), and concentrate on your breathing — the sensation of the air as it enters your nose or mouth and fills your lungs, and as it goes out again. If other thoughts come up, be aware of them, acknowledge them, let them go (but don’t try to force them away) and then return your focus to your breathing.

Staying in present moment keeps you away from anxiety and stress. Mindfulness is another term used for being aware of our thoughts and actions i.e. to be in present moment.

Take notice of your surroundings – sights, sounds, smells, texture and ambiance.

Try to enjoy most moments of the day.

Enjoying every moment (for normal people, who haven’t achieved higher state of mindfulness) is not possible. But we can choose to enjoy MOST moments of day.

This is why passion exists, do what you love because it will make it easier to enjoy moments of work.

Gratitude helps us to accept the present and make us feel worthy. Try to taste food next time and experience how it feels.

Find happiness where you are. 

We have learned to seek reasons to feel happy such as when we are in party, when we get our favorite food, when we receive desired gift, when we travel, etc. But we don’t feel happy at this moment, because we don’t look for it. 

We keep ourselves busy thinking about the future or past trying to find reason for happiness, instead of looking for it in this moment.

When we depend for happiness on something it means we are attached. And attachment prevents looking for happiness in the moment.

Instead of thinking, spend your life living.

We spend too much time thinking. In shower we think, while eating we think, while walking we think, we think for work, all the time we spend on thinking. 

This for sure doesn’t mean we should not think! Thinking is a creative skill and nature’s gift so it has to be used.

But thinking all the time will prevent us from being in present and we can’t experience the true sense of being without experiencing present.

Act on your words. 

Doing nothing is not suggested by Zen, that’s no way you can uplift your career. In order to shoot on graph of your success you get to act. You have to give direction to your life, that’s primary reason for being. 

Acting on your words will help you to go in flow with your direction. You should develop habits and rituals that support what you’re trying to achieve in life.

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