After years of fascination by east philosophy, I’ve found much more suiting way of thinking about life closer, namely in ancient Greece and Rome. Stoic texts have much more impact on me than anything from Zen authors. There’s a lot of misunderstanding of what Stoicism really means and I’m not going to describe it today (but it’s most certainly on my to write Trello board). Instead I try to describe, what I’ve taken from Zen philosophy that’s helping me in day to day Stoicism.
Rise and shine. Yes, Iusually meditate on the morning (right after finishing a huge soup mug of bulletproof coffee). Now, there are some Stoic ways to meditate, like Pneuma or Stick Action Meditation. But for me, mindfull Zen meditation is much more beneficial. It improves my sleep, makes my brain declutter and sort of restart. So every morning I try to sit down and focus on my breathing, for at least 5 minutes (any longer for bonus).
Both Zen and Stoicism are about stripping down of the sense of self. Yet the differs when it comes to how to put up with full presence in the moment. While Zen is more about acceptance what’s happening, Stoics try to reason with it, using their core values. It’s not like you have to stop and think about it deeply, you just use what you believe in and apply it on what presents in front of you. While Stoicism is well suited for daily life, in Zen you often need zazen or even monastery isolation to fully accept presence.
Minimalism might not be a core practice of Zen philosophy. It’s more of the result. I, for example, don’t really enjoy receiving gifts (but especially my parents seems to ignoring this). Yet my library and wardrobe grown considerably in the last few years. But it’s not only about possessions. Minimalism also applies on habits, workflow, energy management in general. Pareto principle is a great example of minimalism for work and life.
Those are three Zen concepts that I’m using in daily Stoic life. I’m on the long path to be a better man (and stoic). Meditation, mindfulness and minimalism are helping me in this journey. If there’s anything you want to add or just correct me, hit the comments section.Go Top