Getting to Zen Manifesto

by Lisa H.


We were born. We learned to crawl, stand up, walk and eventually speak all on our own. Slowly we are indoctrinated into the customs of our society. We are told to sit still, to be quiet, to say please and thank you and to apologize when we’re wrong.

We are placed in school, given a label and ultimately put in a box — our limitations set for us. When we try to break free from that which contrains us, a friend, teacher, coach or parent gently — and sometimes not so gently —coaxes us or pushes us back in.

They want us to stay in the box like them because if we became courageous enough and broke free from convention, it would force them to look at themselves, to acknowledge their own lack of courage.

And so we commit to living a dull, predictable and utterly boring existence.

But that only works for so long.

Eventually we become unhappy with the status quo and find ourselves looking for something to give our lives meaning and purpose.


We wander aimlessly, seeking purpose and fulfillment; we don’t know how we’re going to get it, but we know it is possible. We become almost obsessed with creating the life we so desired.

We search near and far until finally stumbling on that which would prove to rescue us. Our teachers came in the form of friends, books, CDs, blogs and spiritual teachers. We plead to be their apprentices.

We listen, learn and ask questions on how we too could achieve the “good” life. And all of our teachers tell us in one way or another that we have to look at ourselves in an objective and honest way, manage our fears and change.

We have to becourageous.

Journeyman or Journeywoman

Armed with this information, we set out on our journey to change ourselves and thereby change the world. Journeymen and journeywomen we are! With pride we hold our tattered flags of courage high.

We practice self-love, acceptance and forgiveness, take up yoga, become fit, start eating better and pray, but still something isn’t quite right. For some reason, we continue to sabotage our efforts. Why? we ask. And the answer that comes back is we have not yet mastered ourselves.


And so we begin the journey to master ourselves—master our fears. We are tired of not going after what we want in our lives and we are not going to take it anymore! We are acutely aware that in order to live the life we so desperately seek, we must walk through the ring of fire.

And so we pray for the courage to take the leap into mastering that which holds us back from conquering our goals. We leap to master ourselves.

Lisa H.

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