1. A school of Mahayana Buddhism that asserts that enlightenment can be attained through meditation, self-contemplation, and intuition rather than through faith and devotion and that is practiced mainly in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. Also calledZen Buddhism.
2. also Zen. An approach to an activity, skill, or subject that emphasizes simplicity and intuition rather than conventional thinking or fixation on goals: the Zen of cooking.
[Japanesezen, from Early Middle Chinesedʑian, meditation(also the source of Mandarinchán), from Palijhānaṃ, from Sanskritdhyānam, fromdhyāti, he meditates.]
Word History: Zen, a word that evokes the most characteristic and appealing aspects of Japanese culture for many English speakers, is ultimately of Indo-European origin. The Japanese wordzen is a borrowing of a medieval Chinese word (now pronouncedchán, in modern Mandarin Chinese) meaning “meditation, contemplation.”Chán is one of the many Buddhist terms in Chinese that originate in India, the homeland of Buddhism. A monk named Bodhidharma, said to be of Indian origin, introduced Buddhist traditions emphasizing the practice of meditation to China in the 5th century and established Chan Buddhism. From the 7th century onward, elements of Chan Buddhism began to reach Japan, wherecháncame to be pronouncedzen.The Chinese wordchán is a shortening of chán’nǎ“meditation, contemplation” a borrowing of the Sanskrit termdhyānam.The Sanskrit word is derived from the Sanskrit rootdhyā-, dhī-,“to see, observe,” and the Indo-European root behind the Sanskrit is *dheiə-, *dhyā-,“to see, look at.” This root also shows up in Greek, where*dhyā-developed intosā-, as in the Common Greek noun*sāma,“sign, distinguishing mark.” This noun becamesēma in Attic Greek and is the source of Englishsemantic.
Check out this great blog by Kath Slogget, tip number 3 really made me laugh 😉 http://www.stamptastic.co.uk/how-to-be-a-more-zen-parent/

The discipline of silence.

This morning was such a beautiful beginning to our day that I thought about sharing it as it happened.

The twins both stood at the open back door. They peered out side, into our sparkling sunny garden. First one up, loudly named the “cold”, he sounded concerned. Little brother, who was stood right behind him, gave a reassuring hand on his back, “is alright” he said.

It is truly amazing what you can hear when you choose to be silent. The birds were tweeting and the foliage was occasionally rustling in a slight breeze as we all trooped out to exercise. The boys booped forth to bounce and play in the beautifully clean and fresh air of this morning. Meanwhile I practiced exercising my silence.

Little nods of assurance were all that were needed from me and each one was cordially accepted by my beautiful boys as they babbled away to one another, to themselves and the world at large.

This exercise gives rise to an ideal opportunity to practice communication using mainly eye contact. Patience can be gently encouraged this way. Waiting for the attentions of Mum’s eye contact is usually rewarding, I try adding different hand gestures and some pulled and exaggerated facial expressions, similar to the lovable CBEEBIES character, Mr. Tumble.

Gently stretching my self upon the slight incline that is our garden path, I gravitated to a garden chair to ponder on this wonderful feeling of love. “How can I bottle this feeling?” I wondered. A smile matched the warmth of the sun.

All of this sifted away as the day unravelled but this warm feeling of peace did endure. Each moment of stress was gently eased away with a therapeutic memory of this morning.

Finding order in the chaos.

As I stood there today, ankle deep in strewn toys, and having several times; paddled through these wavelets of toys, toys which had been picked up and put away again, twice today, for a moment I felt the stream of our day.

Collections of moments had been trickling by all day, twinkling in the sun like the pebbles of a small running brook. We experience so many moments, some are moments of deep thought and concentration, some are of the quiet, natural silence. Many moments are of frustration and just as many are moments of joy.

Trickling by, never lasting, always moving onward to rush over that next rounded, shiny, stone. Sometimes this gentle stream, instead feels like the deafening blast of a great river, cascading down jagged rocks, speeding past my ears. It is during these challengong, tumultuous times that stillness becomes a valuable tool; for keeping my calm in the practice of peaceful parenting.

Every day is a new adventure, just this week I enjoyed watching these beautiful boys (who are nearly two right now) working together, gently and with patience for one another. Together, we are beginning the learning curve that is “home education”. Writing this blog and thinking about this blog is helping me to keep my inner calm. Thank you for taking the time to read this post x Please feel free to leave any comments x