Now that we’re a month or so into the new school year, it’s important to remember that being a Zen Teacher involves some semblance of balance.  One way to keep that balance is to develop what I will refer to as “Your Zen Practice.”

Your Zen Practice is whatever hobby, pastime, or extra-curricular activity makes you happy, rejuvenates your energy, and fulfills your spirit.  It’s the activity that puts you “in the zone” and makes you forget the troubles of the day-to-day world.  

A Zen Practice might be all kinds of things, such as hiking, swimming, quilting, running, or ballroom dancing. Do you go surfing, sing karaoke, write poetry, or play the piano?  Are you interested in Civil War reenactments, playing with Legos, or making six foot towers out of stale Cheetos?  

Your Zen Practice can be a hobby, but it’s also more than a hobby.  It’s an activity that, when you perform it, brings you joy, helps you escape from the stress and tension of daily life, speaks to your spirit, touches your soul in a way that a Klondike bar and another episode of Game of Thrones just can’t.  

Your Zen Practice is deeper. More meaningful. More joyful.
What you do doesn’t matter. The key is to find an enjoyable activity that can immerse you in the present moment and allows you to tune out the stressors of your world.

To discover your own Zen Practice, fill in the following blanks:

  1. One of my greatest passions is ______________.

     2.   One of my favorite activities is ____________.

     3.   One activity that I do where I always lose track of time is _____________.

And now for the tough one:

    4.   Whenever I have spare time and want to renew my energy and fulfill my spirit , I try to                              

Finding a Zen Practice that you can do as often as possible will help you cope with the speed bumps and hurdles in a profession where it is often too easy to think that we have do it all and where we often think that being a teacher is a 24/7 gig.  But the truth is, a rested and relaxed and fulfilled teacher is a better teacher.

So, in the end, you owe it to yourself (and your students) to create a little balance by developing a Zen Practice of your own.  TZT


Zen Action Step

Fill in the blanks above, try a few different Zen Practices, get lost in an activity that takes care of you and brings you joy, and then report back to me and let me know how it went and if it helped.  

I look forward to hearing from you.