"Anything can teach- it need not intend to do so" - Buddhist teacher
One of the best features of 12 step programs are their slogans. Slogans are short, pithy sayings, intended to stop you from following your addictive thinking and get you back to your program.
There are many such short sayings in Zen, and I find them very helpful
For example, here's one short sutra, the Metta Sutra:
May you be well, happy and peaceful
May no harm come to you
May no difficulties come to you
May no problems come to you
May you always meet with success
May you also have patience, courage, understanding, and determination to meet and overcome inevitable difficulties, problems and failures in life
The idea of this sutra is that you start out saying it on behalf of yourself, then extend to your loved ones, your friends, and eventually your enemies. You are pointed to an attitude of benevolence towards all.
Now, let think of some common situations where it is easy to get off the track: You are waiting on line at the supermarket and someone pushes in front of you. Of course: ANGER ARISES. Can you remember, let alone recite the above sutra before you start getting mad at the person? Maybe not- neither of us is that far along the Path. However, if I can remember: "Let it go." "Be here now." "Let go and Let the Universe." I may be able to be conscious of the anger process and cease from following it. At that point, I can assess the situation and decide what to do, if anything.
Or: I am caught up in some sort of greed situation: burning desire for another motorcycle for instance. Some helpful slogans: "Think" "No need to decide anything today." I may be able to get some distance on the greed and be able to have a rational thought process regarding my need for another motorcycle.
It is way too easy to wander off the path and often difficult to keep the mind of training. However, as one person said, "Training is not when its going well, it when it's hard." Buddhist training is intended to help you over the rough spots, and training needs to work when things are going very wrong. I find the above slogans to help with the mind of training