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The Zen Of Not F**king Up

| 2 Comments
The attention to detail at a base like Restropo forced a kind of clarity on absolutely everything a soldier did until I came to think of it as a kind of Zen practice: the Zen of not fucking up. It required a high mindfulness because potentially everything had consequences.

...

In the civilian world almost nothing has lasting consequences, so you can blunder through life in a kind of daze. You never have to take inventory of the things in your possession and you never have to calculate the ways in which mundane circumstances can play out - can, in fact, kill you. As a result, you lose importance of the importance of things, the gravity of things. Back home mundane details also have the power to destroy you, but the cause and effect are often spread so far apart that you don't even make the connection; at Restropo, that connection was impossible to ignore.
From "War" by Sebastian Junger. I just finished it and will try and do a review before I travel this weekend. Let's just say it's good enough that I need a day or so to process before writing about it.
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2 Comments

I'm reminded of a line from Pirsig. Zen is the religion of the valley, not the mountaintop. The only Zen you find on the mountaintop is what you bring with you. Paraphrased from memory.

There's a whole Pirsig line of thought I'm taking from this...about people who deal with the concrete and people who deal with ideas and words about the concrete...

Marc

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