Zen and the Art of Living Small

Zen mastery is achieved through alert meditation, and sometimes aided by a sharp whack from the teacher’s Keisaku.


When the student becomes drowsy or loses concentration the teacher will remedy the inattention with a flat stick, judiciously applied, called the Keisaku.

Living in “miniature”,  as we do in this small motor home also requires alert concentration. There is a meditative quiet in sharing quarters so closely. Ann and I sit at our respective sides of the dining “desk”, writing or reading, with only the whir of computer fans and the tapping of our keyboards stirring the air.

There can be a balletic grace in coordinating our movements about this space. The thoughtful shift of a foot or knee, a willowy bending or side-slip when passing in the aisle, with a whispered brushing of buttocks, and dinner gets prepared, the groceries find their way into the pantry, a buzzing fly is dispatched, they laundry gets folded, and the day unfolds just so.

However, lose one’s concentration, become distracted and forgetful proceeding in HASTE,  and we will quickly be schooled by our  Zen teacher with a sharp rap to the head, knee, or toe. The motor home itself is both  Master and Keisaku.

Our good friends, Chris and Cherie , once wrote about the difficulties of living and travelling in another small motor home, aptly named by Winnebago “The Le’Sharo”. lesharoThey were amused to find its name described the Fulani tribal custom, SHARO, of whacking errant students with a stick to improve their performance.

Would it surprise you, dear reader, to learn that the Le’Sharo they were driving is our OTHER rv?  I am here to report that this American Clipper is continuing the tradition. Zen-Garden-smThe knots on my head are proof of it. However, I like to think of them as  small pebbles in the expanding Zen garden of my quiet and more concentrated mind, living small, atop a mountain.

5 thoughts on “Zen and the Art of Living Small”

  1. Rats! I kicked myself off the island before I had a chance to hear you say “the whispered brushing of the buttocks” in the same voice as Hannibal the Cannibal. Then as Forrest Gump.

    1. Ahoy, Dougggg, and thank you for commenting. Big smiles here from both Ann and me. All future comments are now pre-approved for you, so use your power wisely. I wish you could have tarried longer, too, as we might have had you for dinner…again. With fava beans and a nice chianti, perhaps? 😀

  2. hehehe You described the art perfectly! There are some days when the “whispered brushing of buttocks” is just that, and others where we’ve butt thwacked each other one too many times and I want to yell “Sit down and let me pass damn it!”

    (I left this comment on FB but as a fellow blog writer, I’m never sure what’s more important. You post a comment on the Facebook post and more people may pay attention but wouldn’t it be nice if you could have the comments centralized too. Wow, my explanation is now longer than my post. Whoops!)

    1. Hi, Tracey! I love to see comments on the blog itself, but you are right that FB likely garners more “sees” and conversation. Once approved to comment on the blog, additional comments on all posts and pages are pre-approved. You have the power! (Use it wisely…).

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