In the Blink of an Eye

I think the ‘toon perfection makes practice (last week) was hard on the eyes. So I'm making the type a little bigger...but that's not what I'm really talking about. I just couldn’t stand to leave those two characters suffering like that, so I’m settling their karma and revising their look with an additional insight into their suffering …which is trying too hard and thinking too much.

A couple weeks ago I started reading Blink! which will take quite a few months of the 5 minutes a day I give myself for reading. Considering the subject matter, it’s almost silly to keep reading. The whole book is a koan as there are almost 300 pages included in this book on “thinking without thinking”. (to be clear, by koan I mean a "story, dialogue, question, or statement in the history and lore of Chan (Zen) Buddhism, generally containing aspects that are inaccessible to rational understanding, yet may be accessible to intuition." –Wikipedia)

In Blink!, Gladwell reports the findings of one scientific research study after another to prove that all the knowledge we can amass about “X” over time (even a lifetime) may not be as accurate and certainly not as easy to compile as spending just 15 minutes or less observing “X”. Of course, the concept of “thin-slicing” is not new. In the compilation of the Zen master Huang Po’s teachings on enlightenment there is the persistent message that enlightenment is not something we acquire through conceptual thinking over time, but in an instant by not thinking.

What may take time on the way to enlightenment, is what I seem to do most often (and not surprisingly my cartoon characters) and that is endure the outcomes of my bungled efforts to think better than (that is, fix and problem-solve) rather than accept and appreciate what IS natural and true in the moment. When we (I and my characters) stop amassing and carrying the full load of our thinking we can enlighten up in the blink of an eye. Whew!

No comments: