For centuries, Zen masters have used stories and koans, or paradoxical riddles, to help students realize their true nature. These stories are often puzzling and may seem nonsensical, but ponder them yourself and you might emerge wiser and more self-aware. Here are seven of our favorite Zen stories.
BY ANNIE YATES
MARCH 15, 2015 5:35 AM EDT
So much modern skin care comes from a bottle or jar, and advertisements make health and beauty look complicated, leading us to believe that we need a chemicals and secret formulas to remain attractive and young.
But there’s a lot more to skin and nail care than anti-wrinkle creams and miracle serums — it’s important to consider not only what we put in and on our bodies, but also how our thoughts and emotions affect the way we look.
Sure, we all like simple solutions to fix problems, quite often ignoring the cause. For example, stress isn’t just a mental state. It takes a toll on our appearance, with our skin becoming dry and pale, and the tension in our muscles can make our faces appear lined and wrinkled. To compound this, we often neglect ourselves when we feel stressed and rundown, leading to a less-than-ideal diet. We indulge in sugar, caffeine and alcohol, all of which can affect skin cell hydration and make our skin look dull and dry.
Together with a good diet and exercise, regular meditation is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety, and give ourselves time to breathe and gain perspective. Try introducing meditation to your beauty regimen with this simple daily practice that easily fits into your schedule.
As with all natural beauty, I always encourage people to be realistic when it comes to results. Nothing pure and natural is a quick fix — there are no miracle creams or meditations with dramatic results. Rather, that improvements will be seen over time as your wellbeing improves.
Before you start …
- Make sure you’re wearing comfortable clothing. Anything tight and restrictive may draw attention from the moment.
- Choose a comfortable seat. I recommend sitting upright in a comfortable chair with your back supported. When I’m feeling under the weather, I sometimes choose to lie flat on my back.
- I often like to perform alternate nostril breathing a few minutes before starting my meditation.
A Simple Meditation For Natural Beauty
Close your eyes and mouth, breathing normally or taking a few deep breaths through your nose. Bring your awareness to your breath and focus on inhaling and exhaling. Try to take you mind away from your thoughts and focus on your breathing. In and out.As thoughts pop into your head, acknowledge them, then brush them aside. This will continue to happen, but it’s important that you quickly shift your focus back to the meditation. This gets easier the more you practice.Aim to practice this mediation every day for 10-15 minutes. It may be useful to meditate more often during times of stress.The benefits of regular simple mediation …
- Lowers blood pressure
- Decreased anxiety and stress levels
- Increased happiness and energy levels
- Improved immune system
- Better sleep
… and these in turn will have numerous beauty benefits!