And with Zen I also mean meditation...but that would make such a long title ;)
Today I believe I reaped the benefits from my meditation and zen-"training". I had a pretty tough debate at my job about something I really believe in. The debate was between a group of colleagues (including me) and our supervisors who had an absolute opposite vision on the subject. Things became personal here and there, but I seemed to sail through on an easy breeze. I stayed calm without a real effort and did not start or continue any discussion that wasn't part of the true subject at hand. I did not feel attacked or became defensive, but made my statement, Iexplained myself a couple of times and left it at that. I had made a decision beforehand that I would give the matter out of hand if I felt it would bring me too much negative energy. Not that I was running away from problems, but leaving them where they should be left. Letting it go...
I would normally start to fret about such a discussion, but this time I came home happy and pretty pleased with myself.
How does this relate to zen meditation? Well, during the meditations I became aware of how easy it is to let things go when you allow yourself to do that. For example; when my nose is itching during the sitting I can make myself crazy by thinking about the itchy feeling or I can focus on my breathing untill the itch fades away. And the funny thing is the itch always fades away...always!
I am still having some problems letting physical pain go, although a couple of times I have succeeded in letting the pain fade to the back of my mind without trying to relief it as well.
When you practice this in small, it becomes rather easy to connect this practice to real life situations...as I have just experienced.
The other thing is that during the meditations you get to know yourself a lot better and learn what your sensitivities are. It learns you not to protect them, but to be aware of them and have control over them as well. Another example, I often feel guilty towards other people for whatever reasons I can conjure. I noticed this during one of my meditations as my thoughts kept circling around this guilt feeling. Now during the debate at my work I was able not to let this feeling withhold me from telling people what my standpoint is and feel guilty about maybe hurting someones feelings in the process. In this case I felt I debated in a decent manner and if someone would feel personally attacked, well then that is their problem to handle...!
Not that I will ever become an insensitive person, because then the sensitivities will have to be extracted from my DNA.
Now I know that some of you may think, "well I already know these sort of things and I do not need meditation for being more assertive", but to me this feeling is fairly new. And if this is what they mean by enlightment...then bring me some more... :D