3 Keys To An Awesome Life From A Zen Master

Ian Paul Marshall —  February 18, 2011

“There is no charge for awesomeness, or attractiveness.”

Po ~ Kungfu Panda

Life flies by. And the older we get the faster it seems to go.

There never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done. Let alone squeek out a moment of peace for ourselves.

So with all of responsibilities and obligations is there something that can help us? What can we do to not feel overwhelmed, overworked, or overtired?

Maybe it’s time for a different approach to life.

A Zen method to unleashing our awesomeness.

I love Thich Nhat Hanh who’s a Zen Master and author of Peace Every Step, the Essential Teachings of the Buddha and a whole bunch more.

Thich has three simple keys to having an awesomeness life:


“Smile, breathe, go slowly.”
Thich Nhat Hanh

3 Keys To An Awesome Life From Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh


When a baby smiles it transforms the whole room. Even the most cranky of souls is swept up in a wave of love and joy that flows through the space. It’s amazing.

When YOU smile major internal and external shifts happen. On an internal level smiling relieves stress and makes you feel good. When you smile you send a message to your body saying, “Everything’s good and life is beautiful.”

And smiling has the added benenfit of making you more attractive as well. I read a study recently that compared women wearing makeup to women who didn’t wear makeup but were smiling. The vast majority of people agreed that the smiling ladies were way more beautiful.


Buddha’s cousin Ananda once asked him, “Oh wise and venerable Buddha, is there one particular quality one should cultivate that would best bring one to full awakening?”

And the Buddha answered him saying, “Be mindful of your breathing.”

The Buddha then shared this story, “There is the case where a monk, having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building, sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect, and setting mindfulness to the fore. Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.”

Sounds pretty easy to me. Like anyone can do it.

And in case you missed it the Buddha said that this simple technique can lead to Awakening. Wow.

As it turns out, deep breathing is not only relaxing, it’s been proven to affect the heart, the brain, digestion, the immune system — and maybe even the expression of genes.

Go Slowly

On Saturday night I went out to a Persian lounge in the west end of Toronto. While I was there my beautiful and amazing friend Sara talked me into having some Persian tea. I’m so glad that she did.

It was wonderful. And it completely slowed me down from the hustle and bustle of the day.

To take the full experience in I focused my whole attention on the here and now. My eyes traveled down the curve of the glass and I watched as the steam from the tea floated slowly up from the top of the cup. I breathed in deeply and slowly, letting the aroma of the tea take me on a journey. And I silently gave thanks for having the chance to share that experience with such an awesome person.

Three simple keys for an awesome life: Smile. Breathe. Go Slowly.

Nothing complicated about that.

So when life seems to be on overdrive just remember to tap into your own inner Zen Master.

And always know that you’re awesome.

Keep Being Inspirational!


2 responses to 3 Keys To An Awesome Life From A Zen Master

  1. Now if I can find time to read more of this and see how I can align my products to fit this need to be zen

  2. Zen and products…? Hmmmmmm…Be present…aware…at ease…and see and know the needs of your clients clearly and completely. Might be a blog post there.