Secrets Of Zen
I'm no monk, definitely not a "Zen Master", have no formal training, but I think I understand. Thus, I want to share my understanding with you.
1 - Simplify
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." - Leonardo da Vinci
Ever wish life were less complex? When you think of Zen, you might think about minimalism or minimalistic philosophy. If you asked a Westerner for a definition of "success" I'd argue they'd mention something about financial freedom or material possessions. Ask a Zen monk and you might be surprised to learn they aspire to be completely free of worldly possessions. Totally different definition of the same concept.
Why do Zen monks believe in a minimal lifestyle? I'm not suggesting that to simplify your life you need to sell your car, clothes, computers, phones, etc. Minimalistic philosophy is a metaphor for what I understand to be Zen's larger message--essentially, you already have all that you need. Fame, fulfillment, fortune, could make your life more exotic, notable etc. but as John Candy says in Cool Runnings, "If you're not enough without it, you'll never be enough with it." That's what minimalism represents to me, it's not that owning possessions wont bring you joy or fulfillment, but you can find the same feelings without them, all those emotions are already inside you.
2 - Yin and Yang
I never was sure what to make of "Yin and Yang" except that it was something nice to look at--you've probably seen the image. That's my fault for not asking questions. Now, I understand Yin and Yang to represent relativity. A brilliant example is to try to imagine a "utopian society", where nothing goes wrong, the sun is always shining etc. Now ask yourself, if everything were always perfect, what would make something "good"? Our definition would be totally useless, because without blemishes, there's no "flawless". In essence, you can't have one thing without the other. That's Yin and Yang.
3 - Stop Looking
How many people do you know spend time "looking" for secrets (maybe that's how you found this post), shortcuts, answers, etc. Don't you think with all the man-hours devoted to looking for secrets, we'd have found one by now? Masters, mentors, professors, help us acquire the tools to accumulate knowledge and wisdom, but they'll never provide a packaged answer for everything--this too must come from within. Enlightenment isn't a magic lighting bolt that strikes your body, it's a realization that you're already enlightened (easier said than done).
You don't need to travel to a distant land or live in isolation to understand the core teachings of "Zen". By definition, it's simple and accessible. That said, the way I understand Zen is different from your own understanding. These three ideas, minimalism, relativity, and to look within have helped me realize that not only do I already possess the necessary tools for success but I'm already "successful". Want the secret? You're the secret.