Being Zen

I think I've discovered the secret to being present. This may save you a pilgrimage to Tibet or at the very least a trip to the New Age section of Barnes and Noble. It's really simple: do something that scares you. A lot. I find that the moment I step outside of my comfort zone, the world comes alive. Maybe it has something to do with that primordial nub at the base of our brains that regulates the flight or fight response. When we encounter something that is foreign and uncomfortable it seems our senses work overtime. Moving to Korea was not so much a step outside of my comfort zone as it was a leap, a grand jete Baryshnikov style, into the great unknown. Since moving here everything is sharper; sounds dance and sights pop. My ears catch the cadence and staccato of the Korean language, the rumble of motorcycles in the back alleyways, and the traffic on the main streets. Aigo! My eyes are drawn to the bubbly letters and candy colors of this new aesthetic; the open street stalls selling giant Asian pears and spicy beef kabobs; old leathery men pushing large rickety handcarts; and business men and women walking double time in their suits and serious expressions. It's brilliant to be in this space where nothing is comfortable nor familiar enough to take for granted. I'm certain this is where some of the best living happens.

My friend and fellow teacher KaRyn bargaining with the vegetable man on the streets of Seoul