The past few weeks have been very busy and hectic, a challenge in many ways to keep up with all the things that need to be done in the right time and place. The other morning while preparing for my busy day head I noted in my journal that this was like going white water rafting. Life is a river, and this section of the river is very fast and filled with boulders, and other sections of the river are wide and slow, but it's all the same river. This little mind game really helped by making me see the big picture and not getting stuck in the day or task at hand during a day. It's all just dips and bends in the same river.
Another one I have lately is calling zazen "dropping practice." All through our life we are taught to hold onto things. We hold on to possessions, people, ideas, etc. So we get lots and lots of practice holding onto things, and zazen is practicing dropping all those things. Like practicing the guitar or piano, at first we can only play basic tunes but with time and practice we can play much more technical and difficult tunes, so to is zazen where at first we drop basic thoughts and then, as we develop, we are able to drop ever finer and more subtle thoughts. The "game" is simply that when I find something in my mind I drop it. Counting breaths and having to start over when you lost track is a similar type of game. Will wrote in here some time ago of treating monkey mind (another game, btw) as that talkative neighbor you ignore, which is kind of making it a game. Of course, the ultimate thing to drop is the idea of these or any mind games entirely.
Get the idea?
I thought it might be neat to hear what other mind games we play to help our practice.