Chinese Ch’an. Buddhism. a Mahayana movement, introduced into China in the 6th century a.d. and into Japan in the 12th century, that emphasizes enlightenment for the student by the most direct possible means, accepting formal studies and observances only when they form part of such means.
Compare koan, mondo.
the discipline and practice of this sect.
The above may be the “official” definition of “Zen,” but the blog I’m discussing today is so much more. Among the most influential for me, Zen Habits is one of the few sites I return to.
Here’s how Leo Babauta, the site’s founder, describes its mission:
Zen Habits is about finding simplicity in the daily chaos of our lives. It’s about clearing the clutter so we can focus on what’s important, create something amazing, find happiness.
Despite this pithy description, the website covers a vast number of subjects. Just check out the archives. The posts go back to 2007–an eternity in Internet Time. Persistence is no doubt one of the keys to the blog’s success, but the real power is in the posts themselves.
If you subscribe to the Zen Habits email list, you’ll be struck by how Leo includes the entire text of each post in the emails he sends. The posts are brief, wise, relatable, sometimes actionable, and always useful.
Did I mention the site’s simple, elegant design?
Leo’s topic is fairly broad; hundreds of other blogs exist upon similar topics. What focuses and differentiates his blog is the way he writes about his subject. His voice is compassionate and encouraging yet still instructive and helpful.
Need I say more?
In honor of Leo’s characteristic brevity, I’ve kept this post under 300 words. If you want more, read Zen Habits!
Today’s post was the second in an ongoing series examining what we can learn from some of the best blogs on the web. Check out the first post.
Also, if you liked what you read here and want even more, please enter your email address below to get my free e-book, Ten Steps to Exceptional Online Writing.
Featured image (Enso by Bankei Yitaku) via Wikimedia Commons