Zen yourself : workshop one

Lunchtime workshops at Aukett Swanke / 8 March 2016

I ran the first in a series of three ZEN YOURSELF workshops at international architects’ Aukett Swanke

To the soundtrack of birds singing, we talked lightly about a few zen principles before covering two themes:

1. Focus on the task at hand

2. Become one with nature

These led to the group creating a dry zen garden. For balance and harmony.



Invited to notice how awkward or relaxed they felt during the team task we later discussed the creative process, and outcome for each person. All the while linking the challenges and breakthroughs back to their professional environment.

Zen is described in part as ‘the experience moment by moment of our existence’. It encourages us to ‘be conscious of the simple wonder of being alive’. Very sound guidance in my book, especially in a world wracked with stress.

The participants returned to work feeling the full benefits of our hour together. This is what they liked.

“Lovely setting with sounds, good team work”

“Calming, nice references to zen practices and history, link to professional environment really appreciated and connecting the practice with everyday”

“Very good moment to relax from work, getting focused, team spirit”

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“Takes mind off work, love the birds tweeting, feel less stress and tired”


“Liked quotes from books, liked each person’s account of a memorable zen experience, liked references to working life” 

“Surprise about setting a task, good introduction to Zen, listen to others’ ideas”

 “I like the idea of learning about zen gardens and how to create nice ideas working in groups”


Next week we’re looking at how to remain centred in the face of adversity and stress, and how to be unlimited – finding ways to remove obstacles and overcome barriers.

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© Amanda Yensa Manor 2016

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