Nowadays with information flowing freely between countries, the habits and rituals of different cultures penetrate the western world and at times them stay. One of those concepts is spiritualism and the idea of being zen.
The western interpretation of being zen is often something as follows:
– have a piece of mind as you are, embrace fully the present and do not worry about the future;
– be satisfied with yourself, do not seek achievements to make you happy;
– do less things and spend more time enjoying the moment.
Well, I have only one thing to tell you here: Don’t be “zen”! Avoid, stay away, keep clear. Life is just way too exciting to be zen all the time!
Whereas spending the whole weekend watching movies on your computer might sound like an ultimate “zen”-like experience, the memories of spending that weekend hiking or even on a small road trip in your home country will leave you with much more intact memories. Spending your free day learning some new skill or doing something you’ve never done before dwarfs the day spent sunbathing in your local beach.
In some eastern countries, where all they have are mountains, rice fields and some yak’s to harvest the latter, being zen means that one makes only 8-hour days at weekends. In most of the western world (think PIGS for an extreme example), people are way too zen already.
For me, being zen means grabbing the oppurtunities that life provides me with. And lot ot times, creating these opportunities for myself. I suggest you to do that, too. It’s better to err on the side of making too many things. You will enjoy your life much more, I promise. You have plenty of time to be zen in your 70-s.