Zen for Grooms –
Are all grooms Zen…..Perhaps we should add a Zen check button to our Professionals page!
“Before enlightenment chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.” – Wu Li…. Or in horse terms “ Before enlightenment muck out, turn out, ride and groom, after enlightenment smile as you muck out, turn out, ride and groom” Being Zen wont change how much you have to fit into your day but it will help you achieve far more, be more effective, and more content. No one can question that a grooms day is long, tough, wet and cold in the winter (and the summertime too sometimes!) but it has its rewards and just when you think you are going to jack it in, the sun comes out and its your day on the rota to hack out.
The Zen Monk Thich Nhat Hanh simplified the rules of Zen into one sentence
“Smile, Breath and Go Slowly”
We should all try this approach and I have taken the liberty of translating the Zen Rules into “A Grooms Zen Outlook on Life”
- Do one thing at a time This mean each job is started and finished and your focus is on ensuring that it is done property
- Do it slowly and deliberately Slowly and deliberately does not mean with a lazy approach but with total focus
- Do it completely Don’t get distracted and move on to the next thing before finishing what you are already doing
- Do less Priorities: If the work load is particularly heavy do the most important jobs first
- Develop rituals Find a way to make the most of your time, keep your job list circular so each one assists the next
- Designate time for certain things There is always a list of things which get put to the bottom of the list, try and tick one of those off in the mid afternoon lull.
- Devote time to sitting During your breaks, take the time to sit and relax.
- Smile and serve others Smiling is the best approach, always find the up side and share it with others to make their day a happier one.
- Make cleaning and cooking become meditation Horse wise – there is something entirely satisfying about that newly mucked out bed and a horse you could pat in white gloves.
- Think about what is necessary Focus on the job in hand, give it your whole attention, that way you wont leave the hoof pick behind and then have to sift through the whole bed to find it!.
- Live simply Well, that’s an easy one,being a groom leaves little time for a complicated life!