When To Think and When Not To


article-1131457-033AFE11000005DC-536_468x338About a decade ago, I became fascinated by Zen Buddhism, largely due to the frequent presentation of effortless skill. One koan centered on a painter who struggled for a year to paint a monastery perfectly. He failed repeatedly until he grew angry one day and scribbled a sketch in one sitting. Of course, this last quick and dirty version was the perfect one. So I tried this out and started just plunging into tasks without thought…and quickly found out that the koan did not quite apply to all situations.

But there’s something compelling about the story, and it’s not just wish fulfillment. It may not be the whole truth, but it’s certainly part of it. Take a look at this article for a pretty compelling presentation of studies about this subject.

PS You may have noticed that I didn’t post for a bit. My old format wasn’t working with my schedule particularly well, so I’m changing things up. We’ll see how this improves my consistency.


One comment

  1. I think Zen can be contrasted with the modern culture of presumption. You might enjoy the short Zen tale I just posted at http://deligentia.wordpress.com/2009/11/10/empty-your-cup/

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