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Zen and the Art of …

Updated on March 22, 2014
Quirinus profile image

"Every artist dips his brush into his own soul and paints his own nature into his pictures." - Henry Ward Beecher, 1813-87, Writer/Reformer

Just Sitting
Just Sitting | Source

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“Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values” by Robert M. Pirsig. I picked the book off of my shelf. There was my usual signature on the inside first page and the date read, September 1995. I had read the book three times since and have never found a dull moment each time.

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***

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I thought I’d write a hub in the spirit of the book and title the hub, “Zen and the Art of the Volleyball Drop Shot”. I found that after spending some quiet time there was so much in common between Pirzig’s experience with motorcycle maintenance and my experience with the volleyball drop shot.

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Right now I’m experiencing “stuckness” really, not knowing how to go about presenting such a valuable treasure of information.

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Zen and the Art of …

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… Photography

… Driving

… the Volleyball Drop Shot

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… All alluded to in my previous article, “The Tao as the Way: A Love Affair with Available Light Photography and Other Love Affairs” …

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It’s all about being in love with the moment---here and now. All beingness---time, space and self--- focused in a single laser beam, moving in an ever continuum of now, moving past and present along with it, producing infinite possibilities as it moves along.

I noticed a surge of excitement at the mention of “infinite possibilities.” I do recall glimpses of these experiences when I am able to move beyond my rigid, wilful ego-based self and just let the moment teach me what to do. Un-thought of options present themselves to one’s awareness, out of the blue it seems. I guess this has much to do with Pirzig’s “inner peace of mind”. There are these rare times indeed when we let the moment lead instead of imposing our will as to how it should turn out.

This next line should be an illustration of that. Am I imposing my will of having this hub turn out superbly (i.e, rigid, wilful) or am I just allowing the moment lead the hub to what it wants to grow into? But what does the hub actually want to grow into? I would say that I write this simply to share my view of how beautifully Pirzig’s book was written and how valuable it would be to use his principles in letting us live as much as possible in the present moment, in the place of infinite possibilities, in the zone.

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You will eventually probably need to read his book to experience all that beauty.

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You may also find it to be a journey into self-discovery, which happened to me. Every moment of our life is an opportunity for self-acceptance and acceptance of the moment and everything that goes with it. When we realize this, it leads us to infinite possibilities, we become excited about living each new day with the understanding that it will always have a different set of challenges and insights as compared to yesterday.

That leads me to one of his topics, “gumption”, which was mentioned as being an old Scottish word that is hardly used nowadays. The contemporary term used is “enthusiasm” /’”filled with theos” or God’/. When most of us are bored going through life, day in, day out, he may have something of value we may want to disseminate into our daily living.

I was actually wondering along that line the other day, having had a difficult day at work. I started out with a very high enthusiasm level, hoping for the best yet having things turn out the other way. How do we keep our enthusiasm up when things go wrong?

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He illustrated the point by talking about the process of taking the cover plate of the motorcycle assembly, one with a stuck screw making it a complex challenge. It’s probably a whole book chapter to itself. When you see yourself as being of a similar attitude to what is illustrated it is a moment of great Ah-ha!

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So that’s what’s keeping me stuck.

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He does not actually just write about what’s wrong with such situations. He follows through with action items.

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Now as to whether these action items will work for you and me, no one can tell except ourselves.

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He did not mention about an important key in his journey through writing his book though, but it is there when you read between the lines---self-awareness. He was such a great master of it.

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I guess that would be the starting point. From self-awareness we can notice if we are imposing or letting the moment lead. From there we could learn to be more accepting of self and others.

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And move along with the moment, always in the zone, always in flow.

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… ideally.

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    • Quirinus profile imageAUTHOR

      Queirdkus Ω Ibidem 

      4 years ago from Sitting on the Rug

      Exquisite comment on life and its metaphors! Thanks for sharing the beauty of it all, Eric.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      We are a sum of our "life" My son just about half of my age 27 or so and I often speak of this novel. We both hold degrees in philosophy among practical ones.

      And so we hike and hike hard in the Grand Canyon and our equipment can live us or kill us. It is a way of life to understand that the parts of parts are a reflection of ourselves. Do we take care of the moment, or do we let it and the part slip buy? No we shine it up and take peace and solace in being ---- just fucking being. Wonderful peace here -- yes I meant peace and not piece, although you add to all our pieces.

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