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12-14-08 - Nano Zazen

Every ten minutes or so my new used desktop freezes for about fifteen seconds. At first it irritated me and I thought about what I could do to correct this problem. But then I noticed that when it happened I just had to sit there and wait and realized that it was an opportunity for just sitting, brief but worthy. I was reminded of Thich Nat Hahn's practice wherein a bell is struck now and then at random and everyone stops and just is or follows their breath or whatever. It's been picked up by folks at the SFZC, at Tassajara, Green Gulch, or the City Center, and I imagine at other practice centers. You'll be working away cutting vegetables and ding! and everyone stops for maybe thirty seconds and then resumes (with another ding I presume - can't remember). That in turn reminds me of scenes in movies where everyone is still for one reason or another, and then there's Frozen Grande Central. But this is the Zen freeze and not the movie or art freeze. So now when my computer freezes, rather than get irritated with it, I use the opportunity in this way. It's related to the one minute sit from a post last year, but on a smaller scale. It's nano zazen. Actually, nano zazen can be practiced not only when the computer freezes and forces me but at little breaks throughout the day. It's a key part of the creeping bliss syndrome where zazen or mindfully doing nothing or one's chosen form of meditation sneaks into the pores of one's life. Ah - the computer just did it - but I used the time to go get more tea.

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