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Posts Tagged ‘Zen’

What Does It Mean to Be Peace?

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

How are you being peace in the world?

I recently launched a website, triZENbe (Zen Tribes). triZENbe is a global movement and community of people who want to bring (more) peace into their lives, into their homes, into their schools, into their communities, and into the World. 

As I began to listen for my inner voice of peace, I became curious about when people experience peace. I had conversations with folks about what peace means to them.  

What is your voice of peace? On the triZENbe website, there is a section called Zen Voices. I am looking to add ideas of what it means to be peace in the world. If you would be willing to add your voice to this page and share your thoughts about peace, please email me at maflanagan@toningtheom.com to listen for my inner voice of peace. I had conversations with folks about what peace means to them. I am curious about how and when people experience peace. 

My hope is that by creating more peace within ourselves, we extend that to our “tribes” – whether our tribe is our family, friends, co-workers, community, and/or the world. 

 What does peace mean to you? 

We are one thought away from peace. ~Mary Anne Flanagan

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Effortless Zen Practices

Monday, March 8th, 2010

In the sutra it says, “There are no eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no body or mind…” This is Zen Mind, which includes everything.

It is not necessary to make an effort to think in a particular way. Your thinking should not be one-sided. We just think with our whole mind, and see things as they are without any effort. Just to see, and to be ready to see things with our whole mind, is zazen practice. If we are prepared for thinking, there is no need to make an effort to think. This is called mindfulness. Mindfulness is, at the same time, wisdom. By wisdom we do not mean some particular faculty or philosophy. It is the readiness of the mind that is wisdom. So wisdom could be various philosophies and teachings, and various kinds of research and studies. But we should not become attached to some particular wisdom, such as that which was taught by Buddha. Wisdom is not something to learn. Wisdom is something which will come out of your mindfulness. So the point is to be ready for observing things, and to be ready for thinking. This is called emptiness of your mind.

Excerpt from Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki

How do you become an observer of your thoughts? What practices allow you to see things as they are? As we open up to our whole self, mindfulness follows, and we can experience effortless Zen practices.

To the Zen of you,
Mary Anne

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Creating a “triZENbe” in 2010

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010


As 2010 arrived with anticipation, so too did all the questions. What do I want to happen in 2010? What are the deepest contributions I can offer others this year? What is my focus/theme for 2010? What I am willing to do afraid?

At first, these questions became quite overwhelming. To answer them, I decided I would get still and just listen. I repeated the questions over and over as mantras. My focus for 2010 came to me with the words ZEN and TRIBE. I want the peace of stillness and the love from gathering people in welcoming, generous, and supportive ways.

Can I create a new energy of both ZEN and TRIBE? Yes, because it already exists inside of me. I am naming this new energy: triZENbe. This year I will focus on being still before leading, gathering people in whatever ways I can to generate more tribes, and creating community meditations. The triZENbe definition is still unfolding and it is very exciting. I hope you will join me on this journey.

What contribution will you offer yourself and others? What are some things you are willing to do afraid? Create your own triZENbe. Experience the whole you in 2010!

Here is to Zen filled peace and the fullness of gathering in tribes,

Mary Anne

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Stillness in 20-Zen

Friday, January 1st, 2010

Zen Still LifeAs we start the New Year, may it begin with stillness. In the quiet places of our hearts, may we take a moment each day to breathe slowly and deeply, and then step into our day from a sense of peacefulness. I am not one to make resolutions, however, I do look at my year and set goals with clear action steps, and time for reflection. I am also starting a new accountability project with a friend that will allow us to share where we are at with our goals, express our learning, and any roadblocks. I am holding myself accountable to writing more and slowing down the pace. This might mean attending less events and an emptier calendar and it feels the perfect way to start 2010 (aka 20-Zen). In an effort to take this Zen approach this year, I offer some of my meditations as a way to explore stillness in 20-Zen.

“We are all just a thought away from stillness.”

“Do it afraid. Do it despite yourself. Do it anyway.”

“You hold the Master key to the prison of your mind.”

“Bring love to all your work and inspired action will follow.”

“Rest in the place of great love.”

“I smile. You smile. The world smiles.”

“Life is full of music. What song are you singing?”

“Forgiveness is the window of the soul through which only light shines.”

“When stressful thoughts arise, breathe them, bless them, and blow them away with love.”

“Saying a prayer is expressing a big part of you to a bigger part of YOU.”

“How you breathe and how you feel are related. Breathe love.”

“Begin a resting practice of noticing the space between the words.”

May 2010 bring you a love-filled year with unshakable peace. Happy 20-Zen!

— Mary Anne

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