I've been meaning to post this for some time :roll:

What role does being spontaneous play in our practice? Let me define what I mean by spontaneous. It's when thoughts (how you BE) don't get in the way of behavior (what you DO), so when you think of doing something you then go do that thing (all within reason, of course; you still look both ways when you cross the street, etc.). To not be spontaneous is, therefore, to let thoughts get in the way of behavior. Another word for this is procrastination, but it's more complicated than that. I think I should call my friend back, but then I immediately distract myself with a bunch of other thoughts and don't do it. There's lots of other examples I could cite, but use your own, assuming you are like me and have these experiences. Anyway, I've always thought that zen folk were (supposed to be?) very spontaneous, not letting their thoughts get in the way of their behavior/experience. The student says something and the teacher hits him with a stick. The teacher doesn't sit there thinking about hitting the student, he just does it spontaneously. Maybe that's a bad example. But I am just wondering how we take that sort of spontaneity out into the world, minus the hitting, of course. Or is doing so even part of our practice? I am thinking it is, but how so?

Hmm, I hope this makes sense.