Zen Tapes

Overcoming Stress

Zen Tapes - Overcoming Stress

(Zazen music plays in the background.)

Zen Master Rama here with you today to talk about stress. For the next 45 minutes or so, I would like to talk with you about how you can more effectively deal with and overcome the stress of life. So relax. Loosen your tie. Unbutton your dress. Take your clothes off. Dance naked in the streets. Have a good time! It's your life.

Stress is a state of mind. It doesn't exist independently of itself.

This is Zen. And in Zen, as we all know, anything goes. So sit back, sit tight, fasten your seat belt, relax. And leave the driving to us as we cruise through the world of stress management. Ways for you to overcome anxiety, insomnia, tense muscles in your shoulders, stomach and other places I won't mention. Freaking out.

How to deal with the noise, the pollution, the demands of the information processing society. What to do when your pet frog, Wilbur, runs off and joins the circus. How to deal with your business that's failing, your business that's succeeding. The fact that you don't have a business. It's somebody else's business. It's none of my business. Think about it. I try not to.

Your mother-in-law is coming to visit for the next 20 years. Your pet duck just bit the mayor and the city is suing you for $20 million. Somebody found out all the things you've been doing and thinking, and they published it on the front page of The New York Times. You lost the big game, and everybody on the team knows it.

You're successful, and the demands are just too much. You're going crazy. What can you do? Success is no fun.

You're failing. Nothing's working out. You're depressed, discouraged. You'd shoot yourself, but you're afraid. I mean - stress. It's no fun. Everybody experiences it, what do you do? How do you handle it? The pressure building up and up. Taking Di-Gel. Ulcer preparations, Preparation H, Preparation X, Y and Z. So listen to the Zen Master for a while and let's think about all that stress and how you can deal with it.

I like this part with the guitar solo. Do you know dancing is one of the best ways to overcome stress? And laughing and loving and getting a little silly? Has it ever occurred to you that you're just taking it all toooo seriously and that it's all going to work out; you just need a little more faith in the processes of life?

You just kind of let go and unwind. Slow it down. You're only here for a while. Might as well have a good time.


(Zazen music ends.)

Rama smiling with his arms crossed wearing a designer suit
Seeing is the ability to tell what really is.

The works of Rama – Dr. Frederick Lenz are reprinted or included here with permission from

The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism.