Zen of the Quit




The other day, I said “sitting really helps with this.” What did I mean by that?

I was talking about acceptance; particularly acceptance of craves as a normal part of recovery, and how resisting craves is a losing game. So how does sitting help with acceptance? We sit all the time; what’s so special about sitting?

The kind of sitting I’m talking about is what’s known in the zen tradition as “za-zen”, or “sitting meditation.” There are many different schools of zen, with many different interpretations of what zen is and how to practice it, but all of them are based around za-zen (this is where the name “zen” comes from, after all).

So, what is za-zen, and how can it help you quit smoking? As to what it is, there’s no better guidebook to that than Shunryu Suzuki’s book, “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind”, which can be found on Amazon, among other places. I’ll give pointers on sitting here, but I highly recommend going to the source.

As to how it can help you quit smoking, it’s simple: the keys to quitting smoking (and staying quit) are acceptance and non-attachment, and there is no better way to develop these attributes than practicing za-zen.

More on this as we go on.

(If you're feeling a bit lost, it may be helpful to go back to the first post and follow along in order.)

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