After decades of practice, Helen Lee Schifter has finally shared why growing with the Zen Buddist practice has shaped her to be the remarkable woman she is today. This well-respected practice has benefitted her in unimaginable ways. Helen is a calm, collected, and beloved woman who believes that everyone should find their Zen.
Dating back to the Tang Dynasty, Zen Buddism is based on the idea that finding the meaning of life through one’s mind will cause enlightenment. Due to her immense knowledge of the subject, Helen Schifter has developed spiritually with Zen Buddism to compete with the stresses of working on Wall Street as she outline on her Crunchbase. She claims that it has many mental health benefits. Some of those include being able to let go of negative feelings, stressors, worries, a lot easier. The purpose of meditating is to decrease blood pressure and stable the mind so it can be progressive. Schifter has been the first to share her spiritual journey because of how it helped her overcome her own hardships. As beautiful as being fully Zen sounds, it’s a lot harder than it looks. Schifter states that being a student wasn’t easy at first.
“Growing spiritually has been fulfilling but it takes years of practice. Becoming a fully peaceful person doesn’t happen overnight. You have to be dedicated and aware that challenges will be present during your journey.” – Helen Schifter
There are many therapeutic aspects of Zen that have also contributed to Helen’s growth. With her sensei, Helen has gained an education on Tea Ceremonies. This benefits her physically because of the antioxidants found in teas, especially green tea. She attends the Urasenke Chanoyu Center in New York City to expand her knowledge in Chanoyu, Bon Ryaku Temae, Usucha Temae, Furo, and Ro Hirademae. These beautiful and elite ceremonies take a lot of practice to perfect, but in the end, help bring stability and calmness to anyone participating.
With Helen’s spiritual growth skyrocketing, she decided to push herself to new limits. She enrolled to the NYU: School of Professional Studies. With such a limitless mindset, she decided to study Creative Writing and Poetry. If it wasn’t for her hours of mediating, finding inner peace, and philanthropic work she would’ve never had such an opportunity. With her success at NYU: SPS, she became an editor/writer for Vogue US, Mademoiselle, Self, Glamour, Homestyle, and so many more publishers. Just like anyone could imagine, working under such a spotlight for such major companies was stressful. The pressure of developing creative and enticing work was incredible. However, because she had the pillars of her spirituality always with her, she became unstoppable.
It’s very easy to look over moments because of stress and anxiety. Sometimes, negative thoughts can be consuming, and feeling helpless comes naturally. However, with Zen Buddhism, that mentality slowly starts to change. Living in the present and accepting the beauty of the unknown is of utmost importance. Helen asks, “When was the last time you remember truly tasting your food? When did you let your mind enhance the flavors pulsing through your mouth?”. What she means by this is that as humans, we are constantly in a rush. Even during a pandemic, there is always something to accomplish or get to as soon as possible. That being said, we rarely take the time to appreciate the little things. Helen emphasizes that to be a successful person, slowing down to meditate or appreciate, even the taste of food is crucial.
Moreover, as important as appreciating food is, the point is to appreciate as much as humanly possible. Schifter has always been so thankful for her upbringing and contributes to society in many positive ways. With Zen Buddism, she has grown to be more humble, selfless, and progressive. Her goals and aspirations are to help spread how her spirituality has impacted her, so in some way she can reach someone who is struggling.
“If I can help at least one person find tranquility and merriment, I will feel entirely fulfilled. With the impact Zen Buddism has had on me, I hope to share my spirts with those searching to find themselves in a higher quality.” –Helen Schifter
Her insights into finding calmness can especially be useful to those who are currently unemployed, seeking job opportunities, or financially struggling. With the uncertainty of our futures, it important to be grateful for what is already present in our lives. Becoming Zen can be the first step to stress relief and happiness.