One Hand Clapping
2 years ago
I took a hike the other day. I wanted to practice becoming silent so I focused on the horizon and let my thoughts become quiet.
Then, of course, I thought.
I thought about how my attention went from my thoughts to the environment and back again.
I realized that it was like putting my attention on one hand all the time (this is putting my attention on my thoughts) and then switching to the other hand (this is putting my attention on the environment). When I put my attention on the hand that I don't normally use (when I put my attention on the environment), it is very difficult to keep it fixed there.
It takes a lot of practice. I can already feel myself becoming more proficient at keeping my attention fixed on something new (the environment). It is like moving into an entirely different mode, with different capabilities.
I want to make a connection with this analogy of the hands. I thought of the zen Koan What is the sound of one hand clapping. also of the sound of one hand clapping ( the zen koan). Then, I thought, the important thing is not the sound of one hand clapping. The point is: what is sound of the hand that is not clapping; the other hand?
Food for thought.