Zen simply means "direct experience in awakening" - or "direct experience in seeing things as they really are".
Your mind isn't going to stop thinking. The goal of mindfulness isn't to suppress thinking, but to surpass it and to experience that you are not your thoughts and to learn how to react and respond to your thoughts.
The outcomes that you experience are determined by your responses to the events in your life.
Our brains process and organize information in a variety of ways. We have a wide range of thinking processes that are built into our brains; we use them all the time and automatically. But we don’t always use them efficiently. We need to learn thinking skills.
Thinking critically, deliberately and systematically processing information enables you to make better decisions and generally understand things better.
Focusing on how to think not what to think, you know how to apply the most appropriate cognitive processes to the task in hand.
Why "Zen Tools"?
I have called this site "Zen Tools" for 4 reasons:
(1) Because it features a range of tools that support and develop mindfulness practises.
(2) Because it creates a mindfulness based framework and foundation for learning how to think effectively.
(3) Because it teaches you how to think effectively and provides the tools and resources to do so.
(4) Because it teaches you a range of practical skills that enable you to renew your mind.
Everything that you read from here onwards is based entirely on my own direct, lived experience of how to think effectively, how to stop thinking and how to cope with tough times. All of the resources that I suggest or recommend are things that I have done (or still do) and that work for me.
I am NOT a therapist, priest, Zen master, psychotherapist, mullah, rabbi, teacher or counselor and I am no way qualified to offer any form of professional support or guidance on how to change your life - I am just a simple businessman.
If you are undergoing any form of counseling, professional treatment or support (or if you feel you need to be) please stick with what your professional expert is telling you – or seek professional help (if you need to.)
Nothing I share with you will harm you, quite the contrary, but experience has shown that it is far more beneficial to follow one path or line of treatment and stick to it for the duration of the treatment – and as I have already told you, I am not a professional!
It’s probably best to think of the material on this site as one fellow traveller sharing with others…
Why Am I Doing This?
The internationally renowned priest, author and respected professor Henri Nouwen once said that:
"What is most personal is most universal... by giving words to these intimate experiences I can make my life available to others."
Without trying to sound too pious, precious or up my own backside about it, I feel that this is the energy behind where I’m now coming from now.