Within Buddhism there is a sect of Japanese origin known as Zen Buddhism. And while its differences from many other segments of Buddhism are simple differences, those differences make for deep discussion and much admiration.
Significantly, Zen Buddhism asserts that enlightenment can be derived from contemplation and meditation.
But the word “Zen” has been borrowed and, if not corrupted, certainly broadened in its definition. It has come to be used for almost any approach to anything that is simpler and seemingly obvious.
It has also been used to suggest that simpler approaches are better, especially if there is some mystery surrounding how those approaches work.
This is potentially bad news for people with ADHD who are seeking help with their problems, the ones that are directly related to their ADHD itself. Trust me, we do not need magicians or snake oil salespeople fobbing off their wares and spells on us under the guise of it being of mystical origin.
What we need is a truly Zen approach to our issues.
Yes, I know. A tricky bit of a thing that. We are notorious for our inability to stay focused within our own minds on anything. How, then, do we meditate?
The answer is in the definition of meditation. Meditation is, “the act of contemplation; reflection.”
And look. No where in that definition does it say that the contemplation need be constant, consistent. It doesn’t even say focused. And it says nothing about that contemplation being unaccompanied by other activity.
ADHD Zen looks like …
If you have ADHD, you are possibly one of the ones who can concentrate and focus on a subject that does not induce hyper-focus, so long as you have some other activity to pursue.
Personally, I find walking to be very helpful. A part of my brain is busy constantly watching the path, making the quick decisions that are needed to keep me on my feet. leaving the rest of my brain supposedly free to consider my subjects without being distracted so much by that part of my brain.
And that works?
Well, I’m not going to lie. It doesn’t work like a switch being turned on or off. But it does make contemplation easier.
At least it does for me. Your activity might not be walking, it may be knitting, or collecting stamps for all I know. It may be wood-working, or bicycling or swimming or running or mountain climbing or …
The point of Zen …
The point is that the Zen of ADHD is to know what helps for you, and what hinders. The Zen part of your ADHD is yours. Your mind is original, unique, and your solution is as original and unique.
So don’t let anyone tell you they have the fix or the cure for you. Listen to what they have to say, consider where their logic fails, take what might be useful and try it on your own. If you can’t try it on your own without giving them money for something they declare that you need, they’re not offering anything valid.
Your ADHD is yours, collection of and your coping mechanisms will be yours as well. Think about that … for a while.