Inside Out

Notes on seeking wisdom and crafting software

Against stickiness

Nope, this post is not about growth strategies for a business. It’s about a declutter strategy for the mind.

In sticky thoughts, we discussed an interesting problem involving two monks. Ekido observes Tanzan help a young beautiful lady possibly violating the principle of “don’t go near females”. Ekido broods over the incident until Tanzan points out his attachment.

Our analysis led us to believe that Ekido suffered because of their strong identification with an opinion.

Please allow me to share an interesting thought on re-reading the koan. The author writes about Ekido’s struggle…

Ekido did not speak again until the night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself.

Did you notice the contradiction? Although Ekido is not speaking physically, they have been busy with a dialogue in their mind. This tug of war is depicted as restrain to convert the thought to action. E.g. how did a revered monk violate a principle? vs I should point it out for goodness and so on. Ekido is the silent speaker of these thoughts and the listener as well. It is a continuous conversation within.

How would Ekido break the loop?

  1. Stop speaking to themselves
  2. And stop engaging by listening to dialogues with self

It sounds so simple, we will complicate this by relating it with Mindfulness. Isn’t it just being in the present? Isn’t it just about listening to silence?

So opinions and thoughts will appear. Thousands of them. We will simply not give them the attention they have been stealing.