A monk told Joshu, “I have just entered the monastery. Please teach me.”
Joshu asked, “Have you eaten your rice porridge?
The monk replied, “I have eaten.”
Joshu said, “Then you had better wash your bowl.”
At that moment the monk was enlightened.
It’s not a well known fact that I love minimalism as a concept, although I rarely achieve that nirvana, and have enjoyed reading many books on Zen.
The topic of mindfulness and cancer was something that came up in conversations at ESMO recently with Dr Steven Tucker. He made some interesting points about mindfulness for health, as well as disease, and that’s something I have been thinking about more since then.
Yesterday, though, I went out for an early quiet lunch at a local Japanese restaurant thinking some quiet reflection would be a pleasant antidote to a busy couple of weeks on the work front.
You might think that the concept of peace, quiet and focused mindfulness would fit well with the cuisine.
Instead, after sitting down at the simple black tables, someone cranked up the sound on the TV in the corner of the room. Service was fussy and overly intrusive. As I was finishing, as soon as I barely put my chopsticks down in the Bento box, a waitress rushed over to snatch it up. There was little sense of the peace and relaxation that I craved for while out of the office.
Later, while sipping some Jasmine tea in a little Chinese tea cup in the quiet of the office, some more reflective thoughts made me wonder – how many people actually stop and reflect in the hurly burly of life as it passes by at a frenetic pace? How much does inner stress and outwardly fast paced lifestyles contribute to the origins or acceleration of cancer?
Perhaps we all need more quiet, focused mindfulness in our lives. This is something I plan to work on more myself.
What about you?