The Zen Diary : September, go back to work like Buddha!

Month by month, a little journey through the hassles of everyday life – 19 practical exercises to change and overcome our relationship with life.


Let’s get straight to the point: for Buddhists, time doesn’t exist,or at least not as we usually think of it. In the same way, going back to work or school after the holidays. Not even “post summer blues” ( easily noticed in tanned folk with a tight smile, who are “so happy to be back….really”) Despite everything during this tricky time, when even the weather seems uncertain,we will act “as if.”As if time existed. As if it flowed from the past to the future,as if a day had 24 hours and a year 365 or 366 days. As if there was a return to work after the summer. And to top it off beautifully ( nose in the air and full of enthusiasm) here’s a little memo with two ways to practice in order or chaos.

Be amazed by some small thing.

Not easy . Not easy at all. To live in “seize the day” mode when the gentle rustle of the wind in the pines has changed to revving traffic. When boots replace bare feet. So, truly. What can we do? The method, which the Buddha himself already taught in the 5th century BC is as follows: take things as they come…and be amazed by some small thing! A ray of sun on the window, a sparrow on the branch of a tree, the smile of a person when we hold the door for them, the contact of our feet on the ground,or the indescribable feeling of our muscles as we walk along. In short, there are plenty of opportunities.
The key : be here and now.
In addition: meditate on this phrase of Picasso “ there are people who make the sun into a simple yellow mark and some who make a true sun out of a simple yellow mark.”

Learn to observe

Here is the corollary to the previous point. To see the little sparrow on the branch, you have to abandon the world of your familiar thoughts. You know:that constant internal dialogue, the mental washing machine, going at 10,000 spins a minute. Which analyses, commentates, reflects, talks, rants and even sometimes sings…inside. To begin to observe the world and its miracles, we have to move our inner washing machine to the wool cycle. A maximum of 10 spins a minute. And to benefit from this magic equation: when we observe the world, we think less about our own problems.

The key : to observe well, open your eyes, ears …and consciousness of the body.
In addition: get some sort of Buddhist lucky charm,which will carry on reminding you to open your eyes and observe the world: wear a mala ( a buddhist bracelet) around your wrist, take deep and compete breaths many times an hour, eat in silence sometimes, etc


The author of this guide, Kankyo Tannier, is a Buddhist nun, but a million miles away from all the cliches about spirituality. A very active blogger on social media, she offers an interior journey full of humour, optimism and simplicity. She is also the author of two best sellers, Ma Cure de Silence, which has already been translated into 14 different languages and A La Recherche du Temps Present. Kankyo Tannier is interested in everything that helps us bring meaning to our lives : little everyday things, joyful rituals,magic moments that open the doors to the sky. Her advice is available to all,without dogma or beliefs. She subscribes to a modern spirituality, in touch with real life. Open up to the meaning of life …. But keep your feet on the ground.

Kankyo Tannier :
Website : www.dailyzen.fr
You tube channel : www.youtube.com/DailyzenFr
Her monastery : www.meditation-zen.org


Thanks to Hilary Mac Ray for the translation and to Katy-anna Gibbe for the illustration

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