There is no need to have a deep understanding of Zen.
~ Shunryu Suzuki
What is a moment of zen?
A moment is defined as…
A moment can also be described as being in the present time.
Zen is defined as…
Zen is also said as being calm.
I believe that a moment of zen…
is serene. A single time in which you are not burdened with the weight of the world. It is a time in which we can take a break from the constantly shifting world around us. We can truly become in tune with ourselves when we have a moment of zen. When people have a moment of zen, they generally expect it to be calm and clear, not rushed or violent. Zen is akin to peace for me. To me, zen has a general connotation to yourself. A moment of zen means to be focused on your own being, although this might not always be the case.
What is the essence of a moment of zen?
Everyone should have time at the end of each day to enjoy a moment of zen. Having a moment of zen allows your mind to become clear and the stresses of the world to melt away, even if for the briefest of moments. A moment of zen allows for serenity, and should not be a luxury for anyone. I try to have my downtime at the end of each day, even if my schedule is jam-packed. Having some time to unwind and think about yourself is said to be beneficial to one’s mental health. Moments of zen may not always be alone. I also think that people can have overlapping moments of zen. I will try to show some examples of people having a moment of zen and how moments of zen may interrelate.
Before I start the composition, I would like to share this link with my readers. It’s a wonderful blog post which speaks about some ways you can have a small piece of zen in your everyday lives.
Composition: Serenity in the City
As the soft songbird tucks in its head after a long day of singing its song which is carried by the wind, and as the gentle butterfly floats into the woods aglow with fireflies to rest its wings, she writes a sonnet. The onyx ink flows out onto the paper as words from that brilliant mind of hers, which you can see if you look into her jet black eyes long enough, flow to her elegant fingers, which dance as they write words upon the piece of parchment. Her earbuds are in, and I get a glimpse of the song she is listening to as she overturns her phone.
Strands of her carob hair float around her face, courtesy of the small metal fan which is running quietly in the corner of her antique hickory desk. The rest of her hair stays close to her back, covering her frame like a smooth blanket up till the small of her back. The moonlight peers in from the skylight of her cozy bedroom, softly spreading scintillas of light across the contents of her room and illuminating her. From what I can see, she looks like a wonder, a moonlit phoenix who could simply burst into bits of silver light and fade away from this mortal world. She is a masterpiece, one created by time and backbreaking work and effort and tears and passion and emotion and music and incandescence and all things beautiful, set to blossom into a heart-stopping dream as she writes on. She is a phenomenon which will vanish within the blink of an eye, but I cannot dwell on this fact. She continues to calmly write, although her pace is dwindling. I observe as over the span of the next few moments, she gets more and more frustrated.
She stands up abruptly, tossing her pen to the side with such vigor that the fragile plastic snaps and the ink flows out, coating the floor with pitch black liquid. She steps over the river of ink in one smooth step and rushes out her door. Moments later, she returns, a cloth in hand. She kneels to the ground, soaking up the ink with one hand and holding her loose strands of hair back with the other. Once all of the ink is taken care of and the only remnants of the incident a small ink stain on the wooden floor and a broken pen, she drops to the ground, taking in the mess she created. I watch her as she sighs. I leave my spot in the corner of my room and flee down the two wooden steps, past the kitchen, out the door, through the hallway, down an elegant flight of stairs, and out into the street. I dash across the street, as the first gentle snowflakes of the December night start to drift down into the world below.
I enter the grandiose hall of her apartment, and spy my target; a grand mahogany piano, centered in the middle of the hall, yet isolated. I rush to it, taking a seat. I poise my fingers over the keys, ready to play. I begin, a soft tune echoing out of the keyboard and filling the hall. I continue to play, my mind clearing as the tones of the song flow through every curve and edge of my body. I close my eyes, letting the music overcome me. After a few short moments, I open my eyes to see her at the top of the stairs, a violin case in hand. She walks over and takes out her violin as I continue to play. Our eyes meet, lingering for moments, minutes, forever.
Then at once, she bursts, cutting in with her violin. The music of her violin and the piano intertwine into a harmonious melody, echoing through the night. I finally see what I’ve been wanting to see the entire evening; the slightest glimpse of a smile on her face as she plays.
And this is how I found serenity in the city.
To draw to a close…
This composition was about two people, neighbors of sorts, who each are trying to have a moment of zen to themselves. The girl tries to write and the boy gazes upon the girl. Both seem to find that while their initial attempts at a moment of zen seem to work, they both fall short. The girl goes through a period of writer’s block, while the boy watches the girl become annoyed. The story ends as the boy helps the girl achieve a moment of zen. I’ve shown how a moment of zen can be achieved by one’s self, or with the aid of others. This leads to some questions…
Points to Ponder
What is a moment of zen to you?
Does zen have to be experienced alone?
Is it good to have more than a moment of zen?
Leave questions, if any, in the comments.
Thank you for reading. Remember to come back next week!
“Serenity in the City” written by [REDACTED]
Yin Yang Picture
Originally posted 7:09 PM October 9 2017
Edited 7:12 PM October 9 2017 – fixed colors
Edited 5:48 PM October 10 2017- fixed word
Edited 6:30 PM October 15 2017- fixed grammar