A book titled “Zen and the Art of Woodworking” could easily be written. Anyone with skills in woodworking could easily find proverbial inner peace through creating unique items out of wood. Even someone with limited or little skill can gain many benefits from woodworking tasks. Learning the basics of woodworking really isn’t a chore. The learning phase can be very fun and rewarding. In Tennessee, Mike Zinser is teaching others the wonderful art of woodworking. His specific audience of students is comprised of troubled young men who need a little guidance. Zinser lends his 60 years of woodworking experience to these young men with the hopes of helping them gain direction and focus in their lives.
“Hobby” and “craft” are two suitable words used to describe woodworking, but these simple words can sell the process a bit short. Woodworking is able to do more than help someone relax. Learning a skill could lead to many other benefits as the tale of Mike Zinser and his students shows. Learning the basics of woodworking has the potential to grow into something much bigger over time.
A young person who discovers he or she has a skill with woodworking may realize a previously unknown talent exists. There could be great potential with the talent, a talent transferable to many other professionals.
Any and all skills can be built upon. Even if woodworking is not the career a person intends to venture into, the discovery of being good with one’s hands plants a seed for future pursuits. Perhaps learning the basics of woodworking at a young age may lead someone to think seriously about becoming a surgeon.
Some might scoff at the notion that woodworking lessons help provide direction and guidance in life. Such person scoff at their own ignorance. Skills and talents should not be mocked or dismissed. All skills present immense value.
The story of Mike Zinser and his youth group is an inspiring one. Maybe the story will inspire others to take up woodworking and see where its “Zen path” leads them.