Friday, January 03, 2014

The List

OMG, The prompt for NaBloPoMo is about list making. I love making on-going lists and crossing off items as they get done. My lists go in their own special notebook not on a digital device, I guess so that I can keep referring to it when the power goes out.
I'd like to title this post Zen and the art of list making. 
I started list making in earnest at the beginning of last year when I decided to tackle the age old problem of flitting from one project or chore to another without finishing anything. You know how that works, your pantry cabinets are above the washing machine and so every time you reach for a can or box of pasta you hang up a few items of clothing to dry. Except that that leads you to forget what food item you went back into the laundry room to get in the first place and causes you to make more trips than necessary and the laundry does get hung but it's piecemeal and not very satisfying. 
So I brought this problem up during dokusan, which, when you study Zen Buddhism is your one-on-one meeting time with your sensi (teacher). One of the challenges of Zen Buddhism is to always be in the present, to focus on one thing at a time. Sensi, suggested among other things than whenever I head in the laundry room to fetch a jar of spaghetti sauce and notice clean laundry in need of hanging and get tempted to stray from the task at hand, I bow in acknowledgment to the laundry and then get that jar of spaghetti sauce. So I bowed more than a few times and then I started making these lists as I went along - I didn't need to hang the laundry immediately per say, I just needed to write it down so I'd remember to do it later. Then I could stop thinking about it and go back to thinking about that spaghetti sauce.
I regress now and then and put away clean dishes one at a time as I'm walking by the dishwasher but for the most part the list making helps, and even if it takes me a few days to do even some simple task that I've written down - well that's okay too.

album: The List • artist: Rosanne Cash

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