Zen and Rhythm in a Day

I stopped posting every run and ride here, but still continue the activities since then. What I have found so far is that doing exercise regularly keeps my mental healthy too. I suppose it doesn’t have to be physical exercise but it can be meditation or writing diary or cleaning desk – but it has to be done regularly and involves my own proactive move.

I tried, and most of other people tried as well, but, say “surfing YouTube regularly” doesn’t help when you want to have inner peace. If you want to bring up motivation and keep some rhythm in your day requires something that you proactively do something at regular basis. Not something you just turn it on and sit there. So the running and riding works for me.

Though I feel good after every run and ride, but the time before them requires lots of commitment and motivation to step out from door. Lots of excuses involved when you decide not to go out. Rain, sleepy, physical fatigue, pain, etc..

My first supervisor at work was a ex-zen monk. I thought it’s cool to have zen training so I naturally asked him how he got trained. He went through those typical ones as meditation, mantra, etc.. but he told me that “Ryo, if you want to internalize zen and learnt the core concept of it, just make one promise to yourself and keep it.” What he told me didn’t sound difficult to me. I don’t have to go all the way to zen temple but just make one promise to myself, and try to keep it. That’s it?

Well, it’s not easy as it sounds. First, nobody else knows what promise I made. I am the only one in the world who knows the contract. The only thing I can count on is my will power to keep me going. Second, when he said keep it he really meant “keep it.” No excuse. If you decide to run every day, that means every day. Weather, out-of-town, even sickness cannot be a reason. He said there’s something that I can achieve only doing so much. I tend to agree but, well, that’s really really far to me and most of us who have normal weak mind.

I have not been able to run and ride as much as I promised to myself. I have not been able to push myself to the limit that I really wanted. However, I think I know what he meant, and I can see some tip of much deeper meaning of those teachings.

Working on my own is somewhat like I got thrown out of the big ship (company) into the open water and I need to learn how to swim. I need something I can rely on, and I don’t have anything but myself. In that kind of extreme situation, having a base that I can mentally rely on really helps. Therefore, though it’s entirely up to me how I design my day, I try to keep a rhythm in my day to keep me going by running and riding. And of course, they themselves are such a fun activity 🙂

2 thoughts on “Zen and Rhythm in a Day

  1. Julian Lee

    Definitely know what you mean about learning to swim! Such a difference between doing laps in the pool of the big ship vs swimming in the open sea!

    Thanks for your post, it’s a good reminder that I need to stay healthy and work in some stress management into my life!


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