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.

  • How to Improve Communication in a Relationship

    How to improve communication skills in ALL relationships takes a different perspective. A perspective that takes an awareness of what is happening within you. How to improve communication is about improving your awareness skills.

    First, I should mention that I am not speaking of a self-improvement program. I am speaking of noticing that which is already noticing and communicating from that which notices. In other words, what I am about to express has nothing to do with inquiring a new skill, it's about noticing what is already happening (and always has been happening) within you and simply communicating what is noticed. Hence this 'how to improve communication' exercise is extremely simple and effective because you're not learning anything new, you're just communicating what is already there.
    I am sure you have heard that the key to effective relationships is communication, right?  Well, what's not mentioned is that this 'communication' happens within first. In other words, something is noticed within yourself, then you communicate it verbally. If it's not noticed then it's still communicated through feeling, body language and other means that are likely unnoticed patterns. These unnoticed patterns generally get played out in unpleasant ways until they are noticed.

    This is really about how to improve communication with yourself. The only way to improve communication with yourself is to notice what you are thinking and feeling. This is not a difficult task since we all know when we are feeling something that changes our mood and those feelings are ALWAYS related to a set of thoughts.

    In other words, something happens within our environment that we can't control or wish it would change and an emotion bubbles up. The more we get lost in our thoughts, the more extreme the emotion gets.

    The whole point of any emotion is that it wants to be noticed. As soon as it's noticed AND communicated (which is the key) then it naturally fades to where it arose from. It's like a child, if the child doesn't get noticed, then it will throw a temper-tamper. If the child still doesn't get noticed, then it will use more forceful words or take more extreme actions. Using this metaphor, you are the parent to your thoughts and feelings and you must nurture your thoughts and feelings by communicating them.

    The child tries to get others to see it and notice it, but it doesn't realize that it really only wants its parent to hear it. So no amount of yelling or destructive actions is going to tame the child. Nobody outside you can nurture the child within you. Sure the child will run out of energy soon enough but it will scream to be heard again, later down the the road after it rests for a bit. Nobody can see or notice the child but you, so you must speak for the child.

    So the next time you feel something bubbling up from a set of thoughts, notice what wants to be expressed and express it, but this time express it from a perspective of a child.

    Here is an example acted out:

    "I feel like a child who wants to throw a fit because I feel as if I am not being respected. It feels as if I want to say" "Please respect me by saying 'thank you' when I do something for you." and I feel if you did that then I wouldn't feel this way anymore."

    The whole point of this is that none of us would choose to feel uncomfortable feelings so it's not something we choose, we can't help but feel and think what we do and because we can't help that then it feels real to us so we must express it. If it didn't feel real, then we wouldn't feel anything else but a natural lightness.

    I am sure you have heard that if you bottle everything within, then you will eventually explode? Yes, so, if you express everything, then there is no pressure to build upon. You don't need the other person in the relationship to respond a certain way, or be pleasant to what you are expressing, or even to be respectful. The whole point is that you don't need anything outside yourself to be a certain way, you just need to listen to your emotions AND express them. As soon as you start expressing your emotions, then they are being noticed. That which is being noticed AND spoken dissolves.

    However, it's interesting when communicating in this manner since it brings a vulnerability to the situation. A vulnerability that is felt by everyone involved. You might be pleasantly surprised that this type of communication naturally brings out the same vulnerability in others around you. It's like a positive ripple-effect that causes others to mimic this very natural communication.

    Just keep expressing your emotions from a third-person (child) perspective. Express FROM that which notices the emotion, not AS the emotion itself. It's the difference between "I feel as if I want to say 'I hate you' because my feelings feel extremely hurt. I am really hurting right now" or "I hate you and..." and communicating something that you will later regret and didn't really want to say anyhow.