It took many years, and it's still not "there" yet as much as I would like, but the idea of bringing the mind on the cushion into the rest of the world and life is the only way to do these Zen practices. It's not quite as dramatic as a Tolstoy short story, perhaps, but by carrying this practice into one's work and home life one can:
- Avoid pissing off people who are better in relation to you as team mates, allies, and loved ones.
- Put the important things and tasks in important places and times and the less important things and tasks in their suitable places.
- Actually appreciate the actual life you're living in the same way as you might appreciate a great meal or work of art.
- Actually take part in the actual life you're living instead of just showing up (or not even that).
I used to regret being this busy, because "practice would suffer" or other things would suffer, and perhaps this was fed by the feedback, instantiated by those who perhaps should have known better, that the "either/or" choice of "work" or "extended sitting practice" should have favored the latter more. (I'm not referring to my current teacher by the way.)
I realize now that "advanced busyness" is actually an opportunity to advance my practice.
Now if only I don't catch my son's cold...