"Immersion in the life of the world, a willingness to be inhabited by and to speak for others, including those beyond the realm of the human, these are the practices not just of the bodhisattva but of the writer." --Jane Hirshfield

Monday, December 4, 2006

What is so Zen about that?

It's the sheer doing of it. You sit there and write. You don't make grocery lists while you write, or daydream, or doodle because then your 1,667 words will take all day. You don't think about whether it is good or not, because that's another waste of time.

And because you just do it, you realize that you can. Your monkey brain, what Zen calls the ingrained, distracting thought patterns that we all have and usually identify as our personality, quiets down, and words emerge from the quiet place that is left.

Because nothingness is form. Out of quiet, words. And not just words, but words that reflect your personality, your subject matter. In spite of monkey mind sitting quietly, behaving.

Form is nothingness: Let's talk about editing tomorrow.

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