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Thread: Oh, the time's they aren't a wastin'!

  1. #1

    Oh, the time's they aren't a wastin'!

    Over on the Jukai Precepts et al several folks have mentioned stealing time. This led me to thinking about what people mean when they talk about things being a waste of their time, etc.

    I spent Saturdays helping one of the teachers I trained with garden. It was a very large yard--front and back. At one point he made a huge koi pond in the back yard. I learned how to use a lawnmower! Over the years I got to see the round of seasons several times. Not only were there tasks to be done (as well as move things from the little room used as a zendo during the week to the bigger room used as a zendo on Sundays), but there were breaks to be taken. There was a lunch/snack to be eaten, cigarettes to be smoked, coffee/tea/beer to offer to people who would sometimes come by to visit him, chat. It was excellent training: to be able to leave a task and come back to it--to be able to stop anything at any point.
    There was no push.
    I remember once there was a time crunch, he had to leave suddenly or people were coming for an event or some such, anyway he asked me 'Can you do (whatever it was) quickly without hurrying? I understood what he meant.

    People coming to visit were not an interruption. Going back to tasks was not drudgery,
    Whatever you are doing with it, it is impossible to waste time.

    This may be the one most important personal experience I can in all sincerity share with you. It is the truth.

  2. #2

    Re: Oh, the time's they aren't a wastin'!

    indeed! Thank you very much Keishin

    Deep Gassho, Dirk

  3. #3
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: Oh, the time's they aren't a wastin'!

    Excellent point! One I need to be reminded of often.

    Last night here where I live they had a small halloween gathering of the residents. I had zero intention of attending, as I have tons of work to do (I should not even be on the forum, but oh well) and I was not feeling at all social. Besides, the gathering sounded pretty lame (judgment, I know). But a friend came by and specially invited me, enticed me with offers of free food (always hard to resist), and said who cares if it's lame. So I went, and it was nice - a little lame, yes, but nice. Did I lose out on getting work done? Yes. But I gained by remembering that I am part of a community.

    I think it was Suzuki Roshi that said something along the lines of when whatever you are mindfully doing is interrupted, then be interrupted. In other words, go with the flow, because to do otherwise is to be attached.

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