profile

Gregory Russell Benedikt

How to Live This Week Like Zen Master Chao-Chou

Published 4 months ago • 2 min read

Hi Reader,

Welcome to another week of extraordinary opportunity.

This could be the week that changes your life.

It could be the start of something new.

Or, it could be just another week.

One that you slog your way through, praying for the weekend.

The choice is yours.

It's your life.

And you're the one who decides how to live it.


What I'm learning & thinking about 🧠

Zen and Master Chao-Chou.

For as long as I can remember, I've been fascinated by Zen.

I'm quite certain I was an old Japanese monk in a past life, which explains why I'm such an old soul trapped in a young man's body.

The most interesting thing about Zen is that it never seems to make any sense.

And there's a deep mystery in this.

One that beckons me to come closer while endlessly frustrating my logical brain.

Here are some examples to show you what I mean.

A disciple came to Master Chao-Chou and asked for instruction.

The master replied, "Have you eaten your breakfast yet?"

"Yes, I have sir."

"Then wash your dishes."

It is said that as a result of this remark, the disciple was suddenly enlightened.

At that moment, he understood the meaning of Zen.

_

Here's an even stranger example.

A master set a pitcher before two disciples.

"Do not call it a pitcher," he said, "but tell me what it is."

The first disciple replied, "It cannot be called a piece of wood."

No shit, Sherlock...

This answer did not satisfy the master so he turned to the other disciple.

This disciple simply knocked the pitcher over and walked away.

This action had the master's full approval.

[Insert extremely confused face here...]

_

But fear not my dear reader, here come some clarity!

Alan Watts, my favorite modern philosopher explains what's going on.

The Zen master is not trying to give you ideas about life;

He is trying to give you life itself.

To make you realize that life is all around you.

To make you live it instead of being a mere spectator.

This is GOLD.

And the purpose of practically everything I do.

So once you've finished reflecting on how incredible and insightful this newsletter was...

Get out there this week and truly LIVE your life!

Find beauty in it all.

Wash some dishes.

Carry some water.

Chop some wood.

Laugh at yourself and try to enjoy the exact moment you're in.

It's perfect if you'll let it be :)


What I'm reading 📖

Become What You Are by Alan Watts.

He provided the lovely Zen examples above and is making me think deeply about life.

This book is a collection of his essays and an excellent way to start each day.


Quote of the week 📜

“To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is enough for one man’s life.” - T.S. Eliot


Was this email forwarded to you?

Click the button below to start loving your Monday mornings.


Sent with love,

Gregory Russell Benedikt

Talk to me: hello@gregoryrussellbenedikt.com

Website: gregoryrussellbenedikt.com

Writing: Medium

Connect: Instagram & LinkedIn

Gregory Russell Benedikt

I am on a mission to have 100 conversations with people about their biggest dreams. Book your free Dream Session at https://bit.ly/3zMgtyD. If that's too much right now, drop your email below to start loving your Monday mornings.

Read more from Gregory Russell Benedikt

Hi Reader, I have good news for you. The fact that you keep coming back here each week means two things: You're incredible and I love you TikTok hasn't reduced your attention span to that of a goldfish Their memory (supposedly) resets every 10 seconds. If yours did too, maybe then you'd laugh at my dad jokes? What I'm learning about 🧠 Why the afternoon nap might be the best thing for you. I'm talking about hitting the hay, grabbing some Z's, and hopping on the sleepy express; destination:...

2 days ago • 3 min read

Hi Reader, I was in Jackson Hole last week and it was EPIC! The mountain got nearly 4 feet of fresh snow in 4 days. My mustache has never seen so much powder nor been so frozen. Here's a picture of the two of us enjoying the deep pow pow: If you can't see the picture, click "Show photos" at the top of this email. What I'm (re)-learning about 🧠 The most valuable exercise Tim Ferriss does every month. Tim Ferriss is a best-selling author, investor, entrepreneur, podcaster, and an absolute...

9 days ago • 3 min read

Hi Reader, It's great to see you again. This week's newsletter has more helpful information than a late-night infomercial. Call me Billy Mays and thank me later. What I'm learning about 🧠 The iPhone Effect. Growing up, my parents had a strict "no cell phones at the kitchen table" rule. As annoying as angsty teenage Greg found this, they were on to something. Studies show that the presence of smartphones decreases the quality of social interactions. That might seem obvious, as we've all...

16 days ago • 2 min read
Share this post