Zen for Ten: Slow Down and Breathe

If you want to join in, I’m doing Zen for Ten with the folks from Do What You Love.  Today is Day One.


This was transcribed from my paper journal earlier today.


4:58 pm

This is the first time I’ve sat in silence today, even though I’ve had the prompt since I arrived this morning.  There is no silence at my house – either the kids want me, or Manly wants me, or the television is on, or I am trying to complete some task or another.  And there is precious little silence here – despite the lower noise level, there is always something that needs to be completed, someone that needs help.  That is my job – to work and to enable others to work.  It’s part and parcel of having small children at home and being a manager at the office.  But it is deafening to be surrounded constantly by other people’s thoughts and words and questions and needs and desires and ideas.

At this moment, no one needs me and no one expects anything from me, and I am alone in the silence of an empty hallway.  What do I hear?  The a/c system.  The pencil tracing out words on paper.  My own breath.  The occasional door lock as another co-worker leaves.  And my mind is blank, spent.  “No time to build,” indeed.  No time, or no energy left to work on my own thoughts, my own ideas, my own projects.  I can feel the tension build in my body as I even contemplate this – what would I do if my time was my own?  What ideas do I have that need to be explored?  Always circling back around the central question, the one thing driving all:  what do I want my life to look like?  Without vision, the people perish.  Without a goal, a direction, I remain stagnant.

I want a white-bread life, something ignorant and plain;

But from the walls of Michelangelo, I’m dangling again

“… while you’re spending your whole life stretching out from something you can’t touch, you forget to touch everything else around you.” — Adam Duritz

Where is the line?  Where is the balance? Between reaching for the future and being present in the moment that is now?

–>  Life isn’t felt in summation or as some frozen awkward final pose.  Life is a series of moments, and is experienced as that – a series of simple moments.  Change is not hard because ideas are hard to have, but because mastering the little moments is tremendously challenging. — SKP


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