Wednesday, May 26, 2010

One thing at a time

I’ve been getting interested in Zen Buddhism. As I understand it, one of the things you have to do (and I’m a novice, so I might well have the wrong end of the stick) is to concentrate on whatever you are doing. To focus on just that one thing, and to live in that moment with the thing you are doing. Don’t think about your work while you are cleaning your teeth. When you clean your teeth, you think about cleaning your teeth. When you mix the pancake batter, you think about mixing the pancake batter.

And talking about pancakes, I was feeling celebratory yesterday morning – about life in general – the sunshine, the garden, the clouds, the sky (eat your heart out Fotherington-Thomas) – and I made myself pancakes for breakfast as part of that whole – hey, isn’t life great when the sun is shining and it’s May? – feeling.

But when you’re making pancakes for yourself, it’s hard to focus on just making the pancakes, because you have to eat them while they are hot and fresh. So – all you Zen Buddhists out there – how do you focus on masking pancakes when you are also eating them?

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And how do you focus on eating the last one when you are sitting outside and the garden is so fragrant and green and the May blossom is just coming out?

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