Sit down for a while

“The more you sense the rareness and value of your own life, the more you realize that how you use it, how you manifest it, is all your responsibility. We face such a big task, so naturally we sit down for a while.”     

~Kobun Chino Otogawa Roshi (1938-2002). Zen “roshi” or master, Kobun was friend, mentor, and spiritual adviser to Steve Jobs.

So often, lately, I’ve had the thought: I have too much to do for one lifetime. What if something untoward happens to me? What if I’m in an accident? What if I have a heart attack? What if the Zika virus finds a way to invade my body? I have an agenda. I have novels I want to publish, stories I want to write, poems I want to imagine onto the page. What if I run out of time?

There’s nothing so anxiety-inducing as looking for trouble. Yet I can’t always push this tendency down to my subconscious. Sometimes it surfaces and I must deal with it, or drown it under the weight of day-to-day tasks and deadlines.

The real solution, as Kobun says, is to “sit down for a while.” In other words, stop. For five minutes or an hour, stop and do nothing. Don’t think. Don’t follow the route of the panic-stricken. Allow the mind, the body, the unifying spirit, to rest. The state of no-thought is a priceless gift we have only to access periodically in order to calm the soul. It’s the gift of meditation.

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