The best thing I did in 2014 was designing and organizing the first episode of the 100 Day Warrior. It was hard work and a lot of pressure to make it happen but once we took off we gained momentum and it was awesome. Arguably the best thing I did in 2015 was opening my zendo for the public last week. Let me share my experience with you.
It took quite a bit of work to be ready in time for the second episode of the 100 Day Warrior but it feels very good to have my own space to teach my course. But still I hadn’t really opened the space up for others. I was slowed down by the flue, that didn’t help. But apart from the flue I found it a scary decision and – I must say – when I write this down I feel that fear again. But that’s water under the bridge: I took the leap last Tuesday and opened my doors on Wednesday. Guess what? What felt like a burden and a big responsibility on Tuesday, feels now, only 4 days later, as a great decision already.
I preach the virtues of meditation over and over again. It creates calmness, compassion, wisdom, inner peace, kindness and many other good things. But my own practice is always just a little bit messy. I will meditate almost daily but never at exactly the same time. I always negotiate with myself and postpone my practice a couple of times during the day. But now I have to open up my doors at 8.25 am so I have to be on my bike at 8.10. Because I don’t want to disappoint the spiritually thirsty masses that are crowding together before my building, you see?
Well, ok.. there were no needy hordes of people. To be more exact: I was started alone on 3 out of the 4 mornings. But Erika joined me later on 2 of those and Roland sat with me this morning. Not exactly an overcrowded zendo.
So why am I so happy? I am rediscovering a simple fact: to meditate EVERY morning at exactly the SAME TIME for a good amount of time (2 periods of 25 minutes) has a pretty immediate and amazingly positive effect! I know this, or should know this, because this is the exact reason why it is so beautiful to go on meditation retreats: you surrender to the rhythm of the daily schedule. A rhythm and a structure that smoothly aligns our bodies with the rhythm of the earth seems to nourish the soul. And now I more or less accidentally integrated it in my own daily professional life. I say ‘accidentally’ because although I wanted to do this and I knew it would be a positive thing to do I had not foreseen how great it would make me feel.
It is so strange. When we think about integrating a new wholesome habit into our lives we can only come up with obstacles and feel pressure. We feel an urge to avoid whatever we feel called to do. But then we do it and it feels like a blessing.
The other cool and still unexplored aspect is that this zendo is housed in a building that is shares with at least 8 other businesses. We are all entrepreneurs; a couple of one-man-shows like me and others have teams from 2-3 up to 25. Next step is to invite the people in the building to join me. I wonder if I can seduce 15 people into doing a month-long daily challenge..
For PR reasons that are not completely clear to me one of my fellow warriors told me to not post pictures of the Basic Goodness zendo until it is completely finished. It still needs some fine-tuning in the styling department. So the zendo on the pic is not mine but I have very similar mats, cushions and bell. 😉 But if you want to come sit with me in the morning please come to the Nieuwe Herengracht 95 in Amsterdam. You are very welcome!