- More koans from using a concrete floor grinding machine:
- The machine is hard to control. It grabs the floor in ways that make it want to spin around and fly into the wall. So you have to maintain a firm grip, of course, but more importantly a calm mind.
- There are crossroad moments: you can either choke at the first sign of losing control, or trustingly coax the machine back to where you want it. And those moments are too short to think through, so your mind has to be primed, pre-stilled to survive them.
- This is what drumming to a metronome is like. If you’re thinking too much, you get out of time. But if you can calm yourself, it’s easier to stay with it.
- I think of it like smoothing out your actions — seeing around the corner, so that you’re not responding to each individual metronome click or knick on the floor, but instead moving in long arcs that land where you want them to.
- Though these things sometimes lead to anxiety (what if I can’t still my mind?), I love the way that subtle mental shifts lead to really impactful physical consequences. This is floor grinder and drumming mysticism.
- See also: Zhuangzi’s “The Dexterous Butcher.”
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