3 min read

75 Zen - like 75 Hard but better

75 Zen - like 75 Hard but better

today I begin 75 Zen, my version of 75 Hard.

wait what's 75 Hard again?

so 75 Hard is a challenge where you follow six rules for 75 days, to build "transformative mental toughness". you might've seen 75 Hard on Tiktok and Instagram, where the program made its rounds.

these are the six rules:

  1. choose a diet and stick to it.
  2. stick to the diet plan strictly. No alcohol.
  3. drink a gallon of water each day.
  4. take a daily progress photo.
  5. do two 45-minute workouts a day, and one of those has to be done outside, regardless of the weather.
  6. read 10 pages a day of a self-improvement book.

if you break a rule on a day (e.g. you miss a workout), you have to start again at day 1 😅

ok so what's 75 Zen?

75 Zen is 75 Hard but with a different ruleset:

  1. meditate for two hours every day.
  2. attend a group meditation once every week.
  3. try to be mindful throughout every day and score yourself from 1-10 on those attempts.

rules 1 and 2 are actually guidance from the retreat I went to. rule 2 is important mainly to sustain motivation for rule 1.

rule 3, let me clarify. i want to try my best to focus my awareness on the moment (aka the task at hand), my breath, or the sensations in my body. if my mind wanders, I should bring it back.

rule 3 i added because life happens off the cushion not on the cushion.

my motivation

tbh the creator of the original program does well to invoke our drive to improve ourselves, and specifically to improve our self discipline. the activities feel arbitrary to me, but to stick to a program for 75 days, and to see something through in that way - it's alluring to anyone who wants to take more control over their lives.

relatedly, i've felt bad of late that i've lowered the bar for myself—or maybe i've become content—in parts of my life over time. i have peers that feel this way too. i mean, it makes sense. we've achieved the base levels of maslow's hierarchy of needs - e.g. we have jobs we like enough. what now?

for me, where i want to raise the bar for myself is to put in more work towards meditation and mindfulness. i saw how much better i handled life when i meditated an hour a day with my roommate. i procrastinated less, i got anxious less, i got sad and upset less.

and god i know i'm soo pretentious but isn't there an argument to prioritize spiritual pursuits over material ones? see, i notice all these desires popping up in my mental landscape. yes, i could pursue them and they could be fun and harmless. these desires are CTAs to games I could play. these games can be fun (bring me meaning) and maybe harmless (if i remember they're games it's not a big deal). but the problem is, i'm not so sure they're harmless. they can result in violent ups and downs and maybe i'd rather have equanimity. (imperturbability if you ask the Epicureans. sorry, i'm trying to flex but no one even knows what i'm referencing.)

anyway, basically i want to meditate to have a better life by improving how my brain perceives things

am i crazy for attempting 2 hours of meditation a day? well, you don't get Buddha-level results without doing some whack shit. and honestly going through life with monkey mind for 25 years is crazier.

it's ok to fail, but i should get up again

i do expect to reset back to day 1 as i'm figuring out how to get up to meditating 2 hours a day lol but i'll keep trying till i can make it work

how i'm tracking progress

i'll be tracking progress on this page. wish me luck!

✅ - 2 hours of meditation complete
✅✅ - 1 hour of individual meditation complete AND a group meditation complete
🚫 - missed meditation, reset

2/27 - ✅✅ 6/10
2/28 - ✅
3/1 - 🚫
3/2 - 🚫
3/3 - 🚫
3/4 - 🚫
3/5 - 🚫 shooting for 1 hour instead of 2 now