In Zen Coaching we work primarily with loving intention, silent presence, powerful questions and precise reflections.
Powerful or empowering questions help you or the person you are supporting to meet that which is, with full awareness, and to go deeper into the experience of the present moment. This will eventually release the natural wisdom and power which is always available within us.
The coach does not go along with seeing challenges in life as 'problems'. Instead she or he invites the person receiving support to look and feel into the actual experience and truth of the present moment, in which a 'problem' is nothing but a thought about a feeling or a situation.
The realisation that every 'problem' is a thought and not a reality, and that every 'problem' is a beautiful longing in disguise, opens the door to profound transformation and to the release of inner freedom and strength.
Some empowering questions used in Zen Coaching are presented below. To be your own coach and explore you own situation, exchange 'you' with 'me' or 'I'.
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What is most important for you?
What is most alive for you now?
What do you mean by ...? (include word that is general, or expresses an unclear want / need.)
Can you be more specific? Can you give an example?
What is happening now?
Can you allow that to be as it is?
Can you say Yes to it?
If not, can you say Yes to the No to it?
Can you let that thought be there, without engaging in it?
Can you allow yourself to feel that?
How do you experience that in your body?
What is ... ? (include word for needs / longings, such as inner peace, freedom, connection etc.)
What would that give you? (And after the answer:) ...and what would that give you? (explore wants until you reach the deeper level of need / longing).
What do you do to meet your need / longing for ...? (add word expressing need / longing).
What need is met by doing / saying that?
What need is NOT met by doing / saying that?
How would you present that problem if you were to describe it as an unfulfilled need / longing?
What is the most nourishing action that you could give yourself now?
What will you do (what can you do) to better meet your need for ...? (be specific - what, when, where, for how long, with whom ...)