The gift of travel. A tradition that my family has every other year for Christmas. This year our tradition brought us to Miraval in Tucson, AZ. This place is meant for pure relaxation and feeding the soul; a getaway dedicated to opening the mind, eyes, and heart. We were out in the middle of the desert in Oro Valley but it was such a peaceful isolation. No cell phone and no laptop. No distraction from technology. A time to spend on self-reflection, staying active, and the togetherness of body and mind.
In between the fitness classes, outdoor courses and healthy eating, my sisters and I found a zen garden in the resort. I’ve never spent time in a zen garden and I didn’t understand the meaning of “zen” until that afternoon. To me, “zen” means to be in the now. To be in the present and fully aware. We can get so lost in thoughts of the past or future, letting life pass us by. But being mindfully present in that garden kept us in the moment.
We carved in the sand, balanced rocks, and simply focused on the present. We were dissolved in the activity and forgot about everything else. You find yourself standing barefoot in the sand, fully concentrating on balancing and carefully stacking these rocks that you can admire afterwards. It requires so much focus that you’re forced to block out everything around you but it’s a satisfying muse. Very zen.
Everyone should have some zen now and then.