By July 11, 2017 Read More →

ZenView – Comfort

By Mary Layton


Comfort is an experience of physical and mental ease. From a Zen point of view comfort is largely something perceived in our mind. For example a Buddhist monk will be comfortable sleeping on a hard surface but uncomfortable when sleeping in a soft bed. To be less dependent on comfort makes the monk stronger. Clinging to comfort all the time can be a hindrance to our personal growth and self-discovery. Years ago I remember getting very hot and uncomfortable in a T’ai Chi class. My mind began to only focus on my discomfort.

I couldn’t concentrate and I certainly did not enjoy the class. I just hoped it would be over soon. When the class finally finished my teacher told us that as a young boy in China he and everyone else worked and practiced in any kind of weather, very cold or very hot. “You just keep doing it” he said. “ Change your mind”. This inspired me and when in the next class I kept my mind from complaining I was really surprised to find that I had indeed gone beyond what I thought I was able to do. And it had not hurt me, to the contrary, it had broken through what I had perceived to be my limit, my comfort zone and made me feel happy and also physically stronger.

I’ve heard it said by many successful people: Sometimes you have to be uncomfortable to be comfortable later. Staying in your comfort zone is keeping yourself in a box. We do this because of fear of failure. But if you never try to break out of your comfort zone you cannot succeed. What is amazing is how dedicated we all are to seeking comfort for ourselves, whether it is mental or physical. Sometimes it seems to get us further away from ourselves. True comfort comes from being at peace with ourselves.

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About the Author:

Mary Layton has practiced T'ai Chi for 35 years and co-founded T'ai Chi Ch'uan Academy of Modesto in1995. She and her partner have taught hundreds of students. Mary travels frequently to learn from her teacher Grand Master Kai Ying Tung. Interested in every aspect of health Mary likes to follow a natural path. She loves writing, painting, gardening, hiking and playing piano.