Friday, March 11, 2011

Thinking Outside the Cup

Dedicated to the victims, the struggling, the survivors.

I feel like I'm supposed to have a "take" on this massive earthquake and tsunami. Here I have a soapbox, what am I going to say?

But this is not a current events blog, right? So I can ignore this, right?

But how can anyone ignore a global emergency?

Japan is the epicenter of this, so let's talk about Japan.

There is something I always admired about Japanese culture: the famous zen tea ceremony.

The tea ceremony gives you the diametric opposite feeling to an earthquake/tsunami.

The tea ceremony is all about paying meticulous attention to the finest of details.

How much attention can you pay to pouring a cup of tea?

Answer: Infinite attention.

The tea ceremony trains you to focus intently on the present experience, on this moment and on this place.

The news teaches us to focus on the big picture, on the global scene, on history.

Question #1 for your table: How do you find the right balance between the two?

Answer: As long as you're plugged in to the media stream, it is almost impossible not to be distracted by it. Think about it. Last week someone sponsored a "national day of unplugging". Obviously the idea is inspired by Shabbat.

Question #2
- How would it affect your life if you and your family/friends experienced a "day of unplugging" every week?

Shabbat Shalom

PS - Here's a different perspective on disasters that I wrote after the 2008 China earthquake.
PPS - Here is a 3rd reaction to distant disaster, very spiritual, very Jewish.

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