Bavarian Abbey or the Art of Zen
This is a photo of the Bavarian Abbey Benediktbeuern. What do monks have to do with the Art of Zen?
Maybe you know the old rule for the monks: “Pray and Work” or “Ora et Labora” in Latin. They either worked or prayed. They had to work in order to make a living, but that’s only one side of the matter. Working for them was a way to serve God, to cherish God. Could be wiping the floor, washing the dishes, digging potatoes, begging for food and drink. Serving God, however, meant to put all the energy in the work being done at the moment, in doing it properly. No way of just wiping the floor quickly and “forgetting” the corners – already thinking of the meal which would be served at noon.
And here is where the Art of Zen comes in – focusing on the thing you are doing at the moment. Going for some shopping? Try to feel the brisk november air. Look at the houses with their bright shining windows. Feel the wind going through your hair. Try to concentrate on the moment- it will be over soon enough.