This blog is written so you can read it like a book. Call it a blook.
Every post is a standalone entry, like a page out of a poetry or motivational book. There is no chronology to follow, so the posts needn’t be read in order. Each post is a poem or a Zen Observation from The Soft Chair. Pop around at will, and enjoy the read.
Armchair Zen is not a study of true zen teachings and religion. It embraces many social, ethical and moral philosophies and practices that have been developed by disparate cultures throughout the world over the course of human existence.
Nothing in Armchair Zen is new, nor does it follow any specific ways or teachings any more than it follows Henry David Thoreau’s advice to “Simplify”, President Theodore Roosevelt’s admonition to “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”, or Richard Bach’s observation that “Everything you know could be wrong.”
Here are some basic tenets:
Humans are inherently curious, and have desire for knowledge and understanding. Humans have the capacity for good and love, and the majority of people are good and loving. It’s the path of Armchair Zen to seek to be good and loving, and to live without fear and anxiety. Part of the goal is to help others to pursue this path.
We should question everything, in order to awaken ourselves and raise our awareness, to seek our own answers to the questions in life, to seek the truth.
To develop an appreciation of nature and our place in the natural order of things, to revere and study the wisdom of sages living and dead, to make the world a better place through love and compassion by being loving and compassionate.
To follow cultural and social rules that allow humans to live together in harmony, following these rules is a sign of respect for fellow humans.
All life is created equal, and has an intrinsic value and right to exist, even those forms of life we choose to kill. It is the goal to appreciate this truth in a world where we need to take and destroy, which is also part of the natural order. Enlightened taking and destruction is limited to only that which is essential (take only what you need).
Forgiveness and acceptance are within the power of the human mind and spirit, and are critical elements in achieving life without anxiety, in peace with nature, people and the universe.
Remember that “everyone is someone to somebody”. Though someone may be wrong or evil to you, in someone’s eyes and heart they are a son, daughter, father, mother, husband, wife, brother or sister. Though they may err or turn their back from good and enlightened thought and behavior, their errors or suffering affect the lives of their “somebodies”.
Mahatma Gandhi said it best: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
Be at peace.