The Tyranny of Monotony

“The truth of Zen, just a little bit of it, is what turns one’s humdrum life, a life of monotonous, uninspiring commonplaceness, into one of art, full of genuine inner creativity.” ― D.T. Suzuki

If you’re at all like me, it’s easy to see yourself as an artist for a little while. You might last a few hours or a few days. But then the routine and monotony of life sinks back in. Everything seems to be a repeat of the day before. Every day seems exactly the same.

I’ve found that the best way to combat slipping into the black-hole of monotony is by realizing each moment is brand new. Past and present are illusions. Even if you feel like you’ve been doing the same thing, you really haven’t. This moment is all there is and each time you do something, it’s for the first time. Actually, it isn’t even the first; that would imply that there’s a second and a third. Rather this is the only time you’ve done whatever you’re doing now, and it always will be.

Each moment, each day, we write another page in our story. It’s hard not to get caught up in the routine of life. Each day seems the same and we take for granted our artistic power. We put off the beautification of our minds. Another day, we think. Maybe tomorrow. Tomorrow never comes.

The truth is, if we don’t keep ourselves present and realize that with each day we are creating, we will never get to it. We’ll wake up 10 years later and wonder what the hell happened.

We can choose to make our stories a masterpiece, or mediocre. But the point is that we choose now.


Goodreads | D.T. Suzuki Quotes (Author of An Introduction to Zen Buddhism)


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