Posts Tagged ‘one thing at a time’

One thing at a time, Bud, my father used to say. For centuries, Zen teachers have said the same. Whatever you are doing, give that one thing your full attention. When you walk, just walk.

That is sound advice, but in our present culture it stands little chance of being heeded. A recent New Yorker cartoon depicts an urban couple at an intersection of trails in a state park. While the man studies the printed guide, his companion turns to a passing hiker for help. “Which trail,” she asks, “has the best cell-phone reception?” When you walk, just walk, our culture seems to be saying, but keep your cell phone on. Within this prevailing social ethos, the admonition to do one thing at a time, and to give that one thing sustained attention, comes to look like a quaintly archaic notion. (more…)

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