Sep 19, 2010

Din: Zen Moment

Multi-tasking is the rule in my line of work. Our moniker here is "wearing several hats." Even outside work this is still the case. For example, I check my emails, check my Facebook account, visit my favorite mailing lists, all at the same time. Most often than not, I have at least 10 tabs open in my browser.

I reckon for you my kind readers, this is also the norm rather than the exception.

This is the reason why I am drawn to running. It is a respite to the chaotic and frantic world brought about by multi-tasking. It is the only activity that forces me to focus on only one task, that is to run.

How good is that!

It forces my mind to go into what I call a Zen moment, when body and mind are one and working in unison. The physical component where I constantly check the status of my legs, knees, muscles, breathing and heart rate. The psychological component where I decide if I slow down or go faster. These two are directly intertwined that the output from one serves as the input for the other.

In a world full of Blackberry's chirping for the latest email, back to back 2-hour meetings, nightly conference calls with foreign counterparts, running is like an oasis in the middle of an unforgiving desert.

These were actually the same thoughts I shared to friends when we had our belated get-together lunch. I was using these metaphors to explain why I am "addicted" to running.

These were also the answers I recently got to the same question I asked myself way way back. Actually, my gut tells me that I already knew the answer and leave it like that but my curious logical / rational self always, always would like to objectify any unexplained experiences that I am going through.

And now that the answers were "crystal clear," I was able to "ran like there was no tomorrow" during the Fort Striders Run were I joined the 16K race. I did not win any prizes though even if I ran like crazy. In fact, I only posted a decent time and was just at the top 60%. Then why I am so proud?

Let me share you this Zen story:

Once upon a time in ancient Japan, a young man was studying martial arts under a famous teacher. Every day the young man would practice in a courtyard along with the other students. One day, as the master watched, he could see that the other students were consistently interfering with the young man's technique. Sensing the student's frustration, the master approached the student and tapped him on the shoulder. "What is wrong?" inquired the teacher. "I cannot execute my technique and I do not understand why," replied the student. "This is because you do not understand harmony. Please follow me," said the master. Leaving the practice hall, the master and student walked a short distance into the woods until they came upon a stream. After standing silently beside the streambed for a few minutes, the master spoke. "Look at the water," he instructed. "It does not slam into the rocks and stop out of frustration, but instead flows around them and continues down the stream. Become like the water and you will understand harmony."

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