Japanese Zen master D.T. Suzuki was one of the most prominent Zen Buddhist teachers that brought Zen philosophy to people in the west who were struggling to find meaning in life.
Below we go over some of his most potent lessons on living a fulfilling, happy and successful life.
1) Exposure to nature is crucial for the soul
“Modern life seems to recede further and further away from nature, and closely connected with this fact we appear to be losing the feeling of reverence towards nature. It is probably inevitable when science and machinery, capitalism and materialism go hand in hand so far in a most remarkably successful manner. Mysticism, which is the life of religion in whatever sense we understand it, has come to be relegated altogether in the background. Without a degree of mysticism there is no appreciation for the feeling of reverence, and, along with it, for the spiritual significance of humility. Science and scientific technique have done a great deal for humanity, but as far as our spiritual welfare is concerned, we have not made any advances over that attained by our forefathers. In fact, we are suffering at present the worst kind of unrest all over the world.” – D.T. Suzuki
Suzuki makes a great point here. As our society has become technologically advanced, we’ve at the same time lost touch with nature, which only serves to impact our spiritual health negatively.
Zen philosophy isn’t complicated. Don’t worry about the past as it’s already gone, and the future hasn’t yet arrived. The only thing that matters is the present moment. We don’t need to have a lengthy discussion on what the meaning of life is.
This is where practicing mindfulness can be so beneficial. By consciously focusing on the present moment, whether it’s your bodily sensations or what’s in front of you, you can rewire your brain to use your direct experience network more often compared to your default brain network.
3) Get to know yourself
“Zen purposes to discipline the mind itself, to make it its own master, through an insight into its proper nature. This getting into the real nature of one’s own mind or soul is the fundamental object of Zen Buddhism. Zen, therefore, is more than meditation and Dhyana in its ordinary sense. The discipline of Zen consists in opening the mental eye to look into the very reason for existence.” – D.T. Suzuki
Understanding who you are and what you desire in life is vital if you want to find fulfillment. Suzuki says that we need to understand our own mind’s nature to do this.
How do we do that?
One of the best ways to uncover who you truly are is through meditation. With meditation, you learn to become an observer of your mind.
By watching how the mind works without judging it or attempting to change it, it offers you enormous liberation. You can learn to catch any conditioned habits and emotions, which will enable you to accept them and eventually change them.
Spiritual guru Osho describes this as the moment of enlightenment:
“It takes a little time to create a gap between the witness and the mind. Once the gap is there, you are in for a great surprise, that you are not the mind, that you are the witness, a watcher…That’s the moment of enlightenment. That is the moment that you become for the first time an unconditioned, sane, really free human being.”
FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM HERE