David, I like this blog post. And it got me interested in Zen meditation. I meditate as well. But I’m just a beginner and currently in search of what suits me. I tried some guided meditations, where different techniques are involved. For example, one technique is focus on one’s breathing, and if thoughts do arrive one notes them and returns to focusing on the breath. That technique is the one that I favour. Perhaps it is related to what you write in your post Endurance and ordinary life. There is another technique, visualisation; this technique is more difficult, I think. Focus on the breath is pre-definition and an endless activity (in the sense that there is no goal of the breath besides to take another one, and if that happens to be the last one, well … ) Visualisation is however more goal-orientated, I believe. And I think that breathing is more my cup of tea as you say. Anyhow, David please write more about Zen meditation, that seems really interesting.
But, in your blog post about Zen you made the comparison between meditating with others and running with others. That really got to me. It is now more than twenty odd years or so since I took part in a race. It was fun, but due to some problems with an injury the fun was blurred, and it all became a mixed experience for me. Therefore, I’m very uneducated about races and what they are about. In media and general talk about running there is also a tendency to aim at times and performances. And I’m not a fast runner, not a long runner, but I like to run. To me the focus on times has a somewhat intimidating effect on me. I’m also not that interested in competing with others. I’m more interested in doing things as well as possible; and just because a person is a winner is not necessarily the same as that they accomplished a great race. I know that there are a lot of different opinions and views on this, and I’m probably way off in my thoughts and to be honest not clear what I think regarding these questions. However, the way you describe a race, David, like meditation with others, is not primarily focused on running fast and breaking records. This way is more appealing to me. So, perhaps it is time to look for a race this summer. Thank you David!