If you're interested in conscious living, then likely you're just as equally interested in Zen but simply not knowingly interested.

Usually Zen is associated with Japanese culture and religious or Buddhism practice, but true Zen (or at least the way this site uses the term) is emphasizing the value of conscious living.

Zen and conscious living come together and go hand-in-hand. Hence, conscious living without Zen is a huge oversight and vice-versa because these are not two.

"Conscious Flex: Zen & Conscious Living" is designed to offer a partnership of how these seemingly two are actually one movement.

Zen is the foundational spaciousness or presence from which conscious living derives. In the same manner that an artist, inventor or intuitive actions come from the stillness in the silence of non-movement.

In other words, Zen is a resting in the powerful space of not thinking about thought, not doing anything about doing, not trying to be the solver or understander, the knower collector but simply allowing the intelligence of life to flow through you and as you.

What is described can be thought of as meditation or accessing our intuition, but it's actually just natural living.

Often you will see kids in a natural resting space or presence and we tell them "snap out of it" because we think they are in "lala land" or "fantasy land" and not paying attention but actually they are simply being completely present with what is. It's natural to just rest and be, that's the flow from which insight and wisdom arises from.

Hence, conscious living is also the natural flow of how life organically expands upon itself. Consequently, conscious living is Zen living, when it's pure and without conceptual overlays.

  • The Driving Force of Emotional NEEDS Behind Every Human Action (The Subconscious/ Psychology Reasons Behind Every Choice We Choose)

    These are emotional needs that every human must attain in order to live. People will even go against their own morals, values, and ethical beliefs to meet their emotional needs. Meeting these needs are done on a subconscious/ unconscious/ psychology level. Being aware of these needs on a conscious level, you can actively choose the way you meet your emotional needs (to stop subconsciously programmed patterns), in a manner that does not cause negative consequences.

    Emotional Need of Feeling...

    Security/ Certainty - To feel safe and comfortable without any doubts. To feel as if you can somewhat predict what will happen. To feel peace of mind.

    Negative/ Subconscious/ Unconscious Ways of Fulfilling The Need of Security/ Certainty:
    • Misdirection - You can control all kinds of physical things to distract you of uncertainty and gain a feeling of security. Having control gives you a feeling of security/ certainty.
    1. Object Control - Hammer that nail, fix that car, rake that yard, clean that house, etc... Do something you know you can feel certain/ safe about without a doubt and doing this will help to avoid the things you need to do, that you feel uncertain about (making that big decision, facing that fear, taking that action, etc...).
    2. Drama Control - Using technics to control people (for more information on these unconscious technics click here). Once you have control, then you can somewhat predict how people are going to respond.
    3. Food Control- When you have food in your stomach, then you can feel safe and certain that you will survive. You get a peace of mind because you are trading a emotional need for something you can physically feel.
    • Consistency/ Superstitious - Doing the same thing every day to recognize a pattern of consistency and be able to predict. For example, I will eat the same foods, stay at the same dead end job, use the same route, say the same things, keep objects in exactly the same position, watch the same television shows, etc...
    • Labels - Using labels on yourself, you can predict what will happen in the future. This way you are not disappointed and can feel safe with certainty that your actions will end up a certain way. This gives you a piece of mind and a reason to feel comfortable with your actions. For example: I am an alcoholic, procrastinator, manic depressant, perfectionist, smoker, etc...
    Positive/ Conscious Ways of Fulfilling The Need of Security/ Certainty:
    • Faith - You can feel empowered with security/ certainty by using faith. You choose to feel certain by your faith. Faith will give you the ultimate peace of mind.
    • Subliminal Messages - You can induce the feeling of security/ certainty, by listening to this subliminal recording. Using subliminal technics creates the auto-suggestion of prediction without doubt.
    • Encode Purpose - Through this technic, you produce the result of feeling purpose in everything. Giving meaning, reasons, and spiritual context behind the things that happen. Security/ certainty is felt where you can predict purpose. The way to encode this, is by plugging yourself into a continuous stream of empowering articles, audio CDs/tapes/podcasts, books, etc... Anything that will uplift you and keep you uplifted.
    Every human being needs to feel Security/ Certainty. For most, it is easier to choose the negative things to fulfill a need, since they are unaware what is driving them to take that action. People are constantly needing to meet these needs everyday and the subconscious finds very clever ways of doing this. The options may seem limited for positive choices, but as you read this article, you will see that you can meet all your emotional needs by doing one continuous positive thing daily.

    With that being said, let us move on to the next emotional need. In order to understand this next emotional need (after hearing the first one), you must ask yourself a few questions. What would happen to your life, if you had fully, a life of compete and total security/ certainty 100% of the time? What if you knew exactly what was going to happen, all the time? What feeling would you get, if you could predict everything in your life without a doubt? Perhaps frustration, annoyance, and/or boredom. Therefore, the next emotional need has to balance out the first one. Everything in this world has an opposite, for that purpose exactly.

    Emotional Need of Feeling...

    Diversity/ Uncertainty - This need is the essence of excitement and creativity. To feel a sense of surprise. To feel the invitation of something new. To add variety to your life. To feel the feeling of stimulation and growth.

    Negative/ Subconscious/ Unconscious Ways of Fulfilling The Need of Diversity/ Uncertainty:
    • Relationships - Enter a new relationship out of boredom, there is much surprise and uncertainty in the beginning of all relationships (soon after the beginning, you will start to feel certain about the relationship and once again need that uncertainty). Below is a list of things that could happen if you choose to use the relationship tool as an emotional fulfillment:
    1. Confrontational - The relationship becomes too predictable, comfortable, and produces too much certainty. In order to avoid this overwhelming emotional feeling, starting a fight is one way to bring variety, difference, uncertainty, and diversity (of course this is done unconsciously, yet once you know the driving force is your emotional needs, then you can consciously choose positive outlets).
    2. Workaholic - Too much certainty at home, they find the need to feel stimulation through the work place.
    3. Cheating - No suspense or diversity in a relationship that was once full of surprise. Not knowing that they lost a fulfillment and not knowing how to replace that unconscious emotional need, they find some variety with another. Even a person with high values, morals, and a sense of a strong ethical outlet will abandon their belief system to fulfill their emotional needs.
    4. Leaving/ Breaking Up - I must be with the wrong person, I do not feel the same connection. I am not feeling the same diversity, variety, challenge, surprise, or stimulation. It is frustrating, annoying, and boring. This must not be my soul-mate. Better find somebody new.
    • State of Mind - The fastest way to create a destructive change in how you feel, is to induce a change in your state of mind, through chemicals. Prescription medications, alcohol, illegal drugs, etc... There is much diversity, uncertainty, variety, and surprises in your feelings with these chemical induced experiences.
    • Newer - Find a new place for your furniture, find a new apartment, find a new job, buy a new vehicle, have sexual relations with a new person, marry a new person, etc... These newer experiences never last. The new eventually becomes old, certain, comfortable, predictable, etc...
    Positive/ Conscious Ways of Fulfilling The Need of Diversity/ Uncertainty:
    • Challenge - Push yourself beyond your comfort zones, eliminate your fears, pressure yourself to create a ripple of positive change (perhaps spread the word of this free ebook about positivity to everyone you know ;) ), develop your imagination, etc...
    • Converse - Engaging in a conversation that opens ideas, allows growth, thought-provoking, and encourages the mind to reach higher levels of consciousness.
    • Learn - Read an educational book, take a class, earn a certificate, learn something new (learn to play chess, understand time management, digest knowledge of being productive), etc...
    • Be Creative - In order to spark creativity, you need to see what the major of people do not see. Being creative, is about take the ordinary and making it extraordinary. The way to do this, is to look for the details. There are infinite possibilities within everything. You just have to look for it. There is Diversity/ Uncertainty in everything, even the mundane. Start focusing on the small detail in things. You will notice a variety of things you never noticed before.
    Let us say that you find a balance between the paradoxes of the first two emotional needs (once you know the other needs, I will show you an easy way to balance them all out). Here you are feeling certain, but not too much certainty that you feel bored. At the same time you are meeting the need of being uncertain, but not too much variety that you feel scared/ uncentered/ unsafe. What is left? What other feelings could you possible want to fulfill?

    What about fame? To be acknowledged as a SOMEBODY. Perhaps you say you do not want fame or be acknowledged because you are not like most people. Most people are into their egos, but not you. Well, that would still count as being/ fulfilling need three (is that not your way of being unique and different?)...

    Emotional Need of Feeling...
    Unique/ Significant - The need for individual strength. To feel that you are important or in some way special. To feel needed through a sense of purpose. To stand out from the crowd. To feel extraordinary, eccentric, weird, odd, strange, or buzzard.

    Negative/ Subconscious/ Unconscious Ways of Fulfilling The Need of Unique/ Significant:
    • Destructive - One way to feel important, is to make everyone else unimportant, by tearing them down, ripping through others confidence, and/or making them feel bad, evil, wrong. Finding faults and digging at them.
    • Violent - Being violet makes people notice you. If you feeling unimportant, pull out a weapon and you can instantly get focus as being someone significant. You are special and get spotlight attention for being violent. You do not have to have an education or background. You do not have to learn anything or work at anything. You can be violent and feel as if you accomplished the task of being unique.
    • Misplaced Identity (this goes back to the section on Security/Certainty under Labels, but I will explain more here because it also is a way to feel Unique/Significant too) - A good intended (yet uninformed) psychologist (that is trained to spot certain symptoms) tells you that you have a psychological disease/ disorder (addiction, bipolar, depressive, post dramatic stress, obsessive compulsive, etc...). You can find relief in this because you are certain why this is happening to you and certain that you are not to be blamed (this is who you are, that is the way it has to be). This disease now gives you significance that you are different and a label that stands you out from the crowd.
    • Illness - You are feeling lonely and unimportant to the world around you. Nobody seems to care for you. Nobody visits anymore. Nobody needs your presence around. Yet once you get ill, you get all kinds of attention: everyone seems to be taking care of you, everyone you know comes to visit, and finally you feel important, special, and needed. Subconsciously, the mind will pick up on this and cause the body to get sick, or deathly ill in order to meet this need.
    • Collecting - Using material things to measure your significance. The one who collects the most toys wins. The one with the most friends is the most important. The one who knows the most famous people are more special. The more money you possess, the more you get noticed.
    Positive/ Conscious Ways of Fulfilling The Need of Unique/ Significant:
    • Lightworker - This is a name that stand out from the crowd. This name has purpose, meaning, and reasoning. To have a connection to a source of energy or light of your Creator. Having this task in front of you, to do work directed by that strong connection you feel. This makes you unique, helpful, and a contributor for the highest good of all.
    • Expanding - Achieving, developing, finding, and knowing the answers to questions. Giving answers that most do not realize. Sharing your uniqueness through the answers you give, for the highest of all involved. Having a sense of purpose through your information and knowledge. Feeling like you contribute for meaning and reason.
    • Degrees - Having a degree (that enhances life for the better), gives you a feeling of being someone who is important and unique. Doctor, senator, therapist, scientist, psychologist, linguist, ornithologist, etc...
    • Skills/ Talents - Discovering something that most people do not have/ possess/ attain and using it to enrich a positive growth (inspiring music, purposeful paintings, creative writings, empowering movies, enhancing technologies, productive inventions, revolutionary ideas, powerful progress, extraordinary accomplishments, extremely compassionate, actively giving, passionately providing, etc...).
    If you are really good at meeting this need, you will often violate need four. People who know this all too well: celebrities, anyone born with a disability (dwarfism, deformities, progeria, etc...), and to a lesser degree; the black sheep of the family. What would happen if you feel completely different from everyone else around you? What feeling would you feel if you stood out from a crowd EVERYWHERE you went? Perhaps you would feel: disconnected, separate, and lonely. Feeling as if you can not just BE a human being. As if you are stuck on an island of aliens, you can not even be yourself. Attention follows you, rather than (most people) seeking it out. You lose a sense of connecting with people.

    Emotional Need of Feeling...

    Love/ Connection - To feel love, unity, oneness, likeness, sameness, and commonality. This need is the need for connection/ love in relationships (rather that be intimate, pets, friends, family and/or things).

    Negative/ Subconscious/ Unconscious Ways of Fulfilling The Need of Love/ Connection:
    • Pity - You can create of situation to get you sympathy. In this manner you can perceive yourself as connected through a twist of love. Manifest being sick or ill and force people to connect to you through feeling sorry for you.
    • Violence - Yes, you can feel significant by acting violent, but you also connect with that person that you are putting violence on. This person can no longer ignore you (or the pain you are putting on them), you are connected.
    • Plug In - Connect to the television, media, video games and/or soak in anything that represents unconscious violent behavior.
    • Gangs - Through a gang, all these core needs are met:
    1. Security/ Certainty - You can predict that your gang will back you up. You are certain they will be there for you. This gives you peace of mind.
    2. Diversity/ Uncertainty - Anything could happen at any time. You could be involved in a fight, shooting, and/or surprise in your environment. The natural chemical of adrenal rushes through your body and you feel a state change.
    3. Unique/ Significant - You have a label/name for your gang, giving you a identity that makes you unique. People respond to you differently based on your gang name or/and color of clothes that represent your gang.
    4. Love/ Connection - You are connected to the other people in your gang, they are like family.
    Positive/ Conscious Ways of Fulfilling The Need of Love/ Connection:
    • Organizations - Rather it be a community, club, team, or spiritual organization. When like-minded people come together, it forms a bond of connection and love (plus meet all the needs simultaneously) .
    • Intimate Relationships - Closeness, love, and connection is commonly experienced through the intimate relationship you have with your significant other.
    • Sexuality - You could connect with your partner in a oneness experience of love through sexual exchange.
    • Children/ Kids/ Infants - You can feel the connection and love through the relationship of offspring. You can also feel the need to be needed or feeling important through your offspring. They can not survive without you, that makes you the world to that baby (therefore you are also fulfilling the need for Significance).
    • Spirituality - Having a connection with a life purpose and the foundation in which all life was created. To connect and love the process or the source/ energy in which intended this process to happen. A connection to yourself, who you choose to be, and the beliefs you have about life.
    • Nature - You can experience a connection with the great outdoors. Hiking in the forest or mountains. To feel the unity of nature in which you are a part of and connected to.
    • Pets - You can feel significant and connected through your loving pet, who sees you as the most important aspect of their life.
    • Reflection - You can reflect on a art piece, sculpture, or monument, and feel connected. You can choose to see the beauty in all forms and connect with anything through choice.
    • Service - When you do something for the highest good of all and expect nothing in return, that is perhaps the most satisfying action of love and connection. When you do things just to provide value for human beings that goes beyond yourself, you feel a connection of total fulfillment. Helping people automatically through subconscious actions connects you: to people, life, and the universe. It connects you on such a deep level, that the experience is of gigantic proportion. The experience indescribable in its beauty. Oneness is truly experienced and tears of joy flow from love. A love that goes beyond emotion.
    How to Identify a Negative/ Unconscious Way Through Ego
    All of the negative/ unconscious ways above are created by the mind-set of thinking in disconnected ways. When you think of yourself as disconnected from everything else, you are seeing things through the lens of your ego. There are several ways to recognize if you are thinking in an ego manner. The ego has a routine way of thinking. It will always think that it is defined by everything outside itself. In other words, while in the ego, you will have thoughts that things outside yourself represent and define you as a person. These thoughts can be narrowed down to six ways of thinking:
    1. I am defined by my possessions. What I own is who I am.
    2. What I achieve defines me as a person. What I do is who I am.
    3. My reputation precedes me. What others think of me is who I am.
    4. My body represents me as who I am. Everyone is separate from me (with their own body).
    5. My desires are separate from me (I am disconnected from that which I desire). The things/ desires that are missing in my life define me as who I am.
    6. My life depends on my Creator. I am defined as worthy or unworthy by my Creator (I am separate from my Creator).
    If you desire to know if your need is being met by a negative or positive manner. Ask yourself if it defines you as being disconnected in one (or more) of these six ways. If the answer is yes (if your ego is coming through), then it is a negative way to fulfill your emotional need.

    Neutral Ways of Fulfilling...
    However you are always fulfilling your needs on a daily basis and because it is a daily thing, there are neutral ways of meeting your needs too. Neutral means: they are not positive or negative 'in and of' themselves, but could be (positive or negative) depending on how they are used, for what reason, how long (moderation is the key), and to what extent:

    Neutral Ways of Fulfilling The Need of Security/ Certainty:
    • Avoiding Drama - Doing everything in your power to keep conflict away. Comfort can be found in not entertaining drama.
    • Entertainment - Watch a movie you already seen, then you can predict what will happen.
    • Isolation - Being alone or by yourself in order to control your environment.
    Neutral Ways of Fulfilling The Need of Diversity/ Uncertainty:
    • Amusement - Go bowling, goto a sporting event, a club, concert, skiing, etc...
    • Adventure - Take a trip, travel, explore, etc...
    Neutral Ways of Fulfilling The Need of Unique/ Significant:
    • Style - People can feel unique in their physically looks (hair style, face shape, jewelry, piercing, tattoos, scars, etc...), in how they dress (hat sideways, one pant leg up, all black clothes, colorful clothes, etc...), in how they speak (accents, slang, slur, etc...), in the way they move (their mouth, hands, body, etc...), the list goes on... Any crazy, extraordinary, eccentric, weird, odd, strange, or buzzard thing you can think of, it is all done for only this purpose.

    Neutral Ways of Fulfilling The Need of Love/ Connection:
    • Emerge - Get connected to a person/hero in a book or movie.
    • Filling Time - Connecting yourself to your collection, hobby, or things you do on your spear time.

    If it does not provide value to your life (other than meet your emotional needs) or the life of others; but at the same time it is not harming anybody, then it is neutral.

    Unfortunately many people are unaware of their emotional needs. They will do ego related things, in order to meet their needs. These ego related negative ways of fulfilling their needs, do work. They work at a bare minimum level of fulfillment. In other words, it satisfies them just enough to keep doing it (it satisfies them in the short-term), but it does not make them happy (yet not unhappy enough to stop).

    When a change happens in a persons environment, to where the negative ego related way no longer works anymore, they will demand that other people meet their needs. They demand it by doing something obnoxious. A person who acts this way, is known to be egotistical. Deep down an egotistical person is crying out to meet an emotional need. Of course the opposite happens, usually egotistical people drive others away.

    The Perfect Way to Meet Your Emotional Needs
    As a result, here is a system to meet your own needs:
    1. Recognize the needs that other people are trying to fulfill. It will be easy to realize, because people are continuously trying to meet one need or another (through every word and action of every person). You can tell through a simple conversation.
    2. Give that person what they desire. Whatever need they desire to fulfill (through simple observation), fulfill it for them.
    3. By meeting the emotional needs of others, you will notice that most people will automatically reciprocate. You will make them overfilled with joy and that overfilling will spill onto you too.

    Two More Essential Needs to Complete Emotional Happiness
    The needs above are the fundamental needs. You can meet all the needs above and still not be completely happy on a emotional level. These other two needs are essential to feel complete happiness. These last two needs are the primary essence of life. They are aligned with the laws of life.

    First Primary Emotional Need of...
    Growth - To grow as an individual person. To mix knowledge with experience and find wisdom. To go beyond your comfort zones. To experience and feel yourself expand as a person.

    There are no positive, negative, or neutral ways to meet the need of growth. You are either growing or you are not. Everything in life is like the cycle of plants. Plants are always growing or they are dieing. If you are not growing as a person (to reach beyond your current understanding), then you are slowly dieing. The essence of all life, is growth. Everything in this world serves a purpose and if it does not serve, then it will eventual die and something else will grow in its place. All of nature runs on this circle. Growth is the essence of life itself. Without growth in a changing world, you will not succeed. Stop growing and you will definitely be unhappy.

    Yet, If nobody is growing with you, then you are not serving growth. Knowledge that is experienced, is not wisdom until it is shared. Individual growth, is not expressive without contributing.

    Second Primary Emotional Need of...
    Contribute/ Expression - You need to provide value and contribute through self-expression. You need to not only serve a purpose, but you must serve a higher purpose. This is the need to go beyond yourself, by contributing yourself through expression. Passion always leads to growth; individually and collectively. Your ultimate purpose in life, is to serve the higher good of all. You will find that you are the most happiest when you are serving for the higher good of everyone. Life supports everyone and serves everyone for the highest good, it is a universal law (just as all your cells serve the highest good of the body as a whole and the body supports the cells).

    The Paradoxes
    Recognize that everyone has the same emotional needs. Everyone is the same in that area, but people will find different ways of fulfilling these needs. We all have these same problems in life. We all go through the paradoxes (two things that seem opposite, but actually support each other) of meeting these emotional needs. Therefore, we should not judge someone for choosing a different way of fulfilling their needs. It is just a matter of choice and that choice has been made unconsciously (more than likely). That does not make that person wrong, evil, or bad for that choice. They are just a different person than you, causing them to choose differently. Their approach may work for them. It is difficult to decide.

    Just observe for yourself and evaluate what does not serve you. You can accurately judge what works for you and decide if something is poorly fulfilling you. Then you can consciously choose how to be more fulfilling, by replacing the destructive manner with a more productive manner.

    For example, it might be comfortable for you to smoke because it gives you some detraction, or something to do in the mists of boredom. Now you know why you are doing it, and you can now instantly replace it with something that provides equally instant fulfillment to those emotional needs.

    One Dominate Need

    You will notice through observation that one of these needs will be more dominate in yourself (and others) than any other need. For example, someone you are really close to may crave the need to be significant, more than any other need. It is their personality need and it is as if they can never get enough of that need. They can feel satisfied/happy (through a positive outlet) to get that need fulfilled, but it will never be completely fulfilled to the point of not craving it. In other words, they can be a happy and a complete emotional person by meeting all their needs (in positive ways), but one need will always stand out within them. Like a driving force to keep going. My dominate need, is the need to contribute. I am fulfilled by contributing, but not fulfilled enough to stop. The driving force keeps me doing it.

    This article was inspired by Tony Robbins who released a audio CD collection called Personal Power (Volume 12: * The Driving Force: The Six Human Needs * Meetings With Masters (3 Disc: No. 23, 24, 25). I highly recommend the whole set:

    If you can't afford the complete set. at least purchase the short version for now: