Sunday, November 18, 2012

Not Zen 32: Relaxed Mind

A woman who had recently moved to a new town visited the local knitting circle. In an upstairs room, the works of the many knitters were laid out on furniture – sweaters, scarves, socks, and other clothes, some of them finished, some not. As the new woman passed by a complicated sweater, she make a sad, clucking noise at it and shook her head.

"You don't like it?" said the woman who had knitted the sweater.

"Oh, it's beautiful."  She pointed to a section of the weave she'd noticed. "It's just that someone used a knit stitch here instead of a purl. It should have been a purl to keep it regular."

"Nonsense." The woman set down the piece she was working on and strode to the sweater to inspect it. A friend joined her. Soon, a small committee had gathered to inspect the work. They counted stitches in the pattern and agreed that, yes, one stitch was wrong.

"That's not easy to notice even when you're really looking hard," said the knitter. "How did you see it right away?"

"I had a relaxed mind," said the newcomer. She had taken a seat and a barn of yarn. "It's not easy for me to spot flaws by searching from stitch to stitch. I have to take a fresh look. When I have no preconceived notions of how things should be done, my mind adjusts to the form the piece wants to take."

"And then you spot the flaws?"

"I don't spot them. They announce themselves."

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