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A Zenful Practice to Inner Peace By Andrea Preziotti


is both a religion and a way of life, and urban linguists refer to it as “a total state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of body and mind.” The Tingsha cymbal is used in Tibetan meditation and emits a pure bell tone--almost crystal in quality. The tone is meant to awaken awareness, to initiate healing and mindfulness. I certainly didn’t know any of that when I purchased it from the ABC Carpet and Home store but the intonation of the bells has become part of my daily ritual as I attempt to restore balance and centeredness to my busy existence. Early morning in a dark room, it takes me awhile to wake. Bare feet on a wooden floor, I lean forward to tie back the curtains, and peer into the world outside. I crack the window and feel a flood of cool air brush against my face, and it is here in this moment that I make my intention for the day, sealing the unspoken words with the chime of a Tingsha Cymbal. All before my morning coffee. With so many distractions vying for our attention, I think we can all agree that it’s a bit of a challenge to create a calming center anywhere, especially in our own mind. There are some days that I feel achieving this balance has become the holy grail of our era, and yet, I know that with a little personal effort it’s not an impossibility either. The road to enlightenment begins simply. One must literally turn off the world, and then tune back into self. There are three things to keep in mind when integrating (or for some, bringing back) the Zen into life:

Quiet your mind. Choose an activity that has a calming effect on your mind. For some this could be yoga, for others a few laps in the pool. It could be soaking in a tub, taking a bubble bath or simply nestling into a comfy chair with a favorite book. Whatever it is, find the rhythm that brings you two steps slower than your norm and allow yourself to steep in it, and relax. RESOURCES TO LEARN MORE: 43 Ways to Simplify Your Life Daily Zen Elephant Journal: Dedicated to a Mindful Life Zen Habits: Change Andrea Preziotti is a writer living in Brooklyn, NY. She has contributed articles as a freelance writer and editor for The Huffington Post, The Journal of Cultural Conversation and LA Splash. To learn more about Andrea, visit http://bkgardenapt.blogspot.com.

Mindfully commit to your intention. Whether for ten minutes or 90 prepare your heart and mind to be present in this moment, leaving everything nonessential behind. Things like the laundry, your list of to do items, the pile of papers that need to be filed, all those unanswered emails--they’ll all keep. Put the computer to sleep, ask your partner to mind the kids and the dog, turn off your phone and step into it. Now that’s done, it’s time to clear the air. I like to use leaves from the sage, rosemary or lavender bushes in my backyard but if you don’t have dried herbs handy you can use a favorite scented candle. Light the leaves (or candle) in a flame-proof dish and walk through each room, allowing the scent to permeate the space. Here’s where you recite your intention to yourself, and then make it known in your meditative space, repeating it to yourself until you’ve made a complete circuit of the room. 36

Local Living January | February 2014



January | February 2014

Local Living