The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Friday, November 30, 2012

Morning Zen

This morning, looking at a book on my shelf, Jason asked me what "Zen" was. Oh boy oh boy oh boy. Have I ever been waiting for THAT one.

I started with a basic thought:

"where your mind goes when the words disappear, but you're still thinking about something. A perfect throw. A perfect kick."

"Can kids do that?" He asked.

 "Kids are born knowing this. It's adults who have to learn it again."

You can study Zen academically, but that's like taking a cooking class without ever eating the food. Better to find that delicate balance of "Focus and Flow" in any activity in which you have achieved excellence, or wish to. Zen mind is an odd, non-linguistic combination of "Beginner's Mind" and "Expert's Mind". It is both the end state of the continuum between "Unconscious Incompetence" and "Unconscious Competence" and process of that journey. Both noun and verb.

In meditation, seek moments of calm centeredness, and then ask where you have achieved similar moments during times of excellent action, especially under stress. I promise you: you have had them. Collecting them, examining without attachment, is a route to automatic duplication of such glorious moments. They are your legacy. Claim them!


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