Up comes a reminder when I'm in the middle of doing something that of course seems very, very important. The other day it was my quarterly taxes. I was making my way through my categories, filling them in, checking my records in one place against my records in another, feeling pretty good about the whole "wow, once I get going, this actually takes so much less time than I think it will" thing...when up came:
"Take 20 deep mindful breaths" accompanied by Kyoto Forest Bell.
Half of me felt delight. I love Kyoto Forest Bell. It's my current favorite. So I made a quick mental note of where I was in my calculations and then took my first breath.
That's when the other half of me whispered, "I hope I don't lose my place and have to backtrack too far"
Zen half: Shhh. It's just 20 breaths. 19 actually, because that was the first one.
Crazy egoic busy tax-doing half: I know but what if we did this after we're done with the taxes?
Zen half: Seriously? You're harshing my deep mindful-breath mellow. Relax.
Crazy egoic busy tax-doing half: (silent for 10 seconds, then) I'm just saying -
Zen half: SHHHHH!!!!
Crazy egoic busy tax-doing half: I'm not saying don't DO it, I'm just saying do it in half an hour when we're done.
Zen half: No. The point is to do it when it comes up.
Crazy egoic busy tax-doing half: Yes, in theory. But this is taxes and they're so close to being done and then we can relax and really be present.
Zen half: You so don't get it. And you've made me lose count.
Crazy egoic busy tax-doing half: See? That's what I mean. You can't concentrate anyway. Just make a mental note to take the remaining whatever number of breaths when everything's finished. You can even start over. For that matter you can do 40 breaths! Or make it 50. Wow. How does that sound? Talk about a deal. You'll get MORE mindfulness that way. Right? Doesn't that make sense?
Zen half: Well...no! No, no bargains like that! It has to be NOW. This is the NOW, this is when it has to happen!
Crazy egoic busy tax-doing half: Fine! You were at 10 or something. Knock yourself out.
Zen half: It wasn't 10 it was 15 or something! Nice try. You know what, I'm going to start over.
Crazy egoic busy tax-doing half: What?? No-
Zen half: And YOU, you're going to ZIP IT.
Crazy egoic busy tax-doing half: Really? Zip it? Really? Gee, sounds a lot like something ego would say.
Zen half: Not listening...Two...Three...Four....
Crazy egoic busy tax-doing half: Maybe you haven't made any progress at all.
Zen half: Five...Six...Seven....
Crazy egoic busy tax-doing half: Any progress you have made is just ego creating itself out of a sense of smug accomplishment.
Zen half: Eight...Nine....
Crazy egoic busy tax-doing half: Remember when you read that? Who said that? Was it Regina?
Zen half: Ten...Eleven...
Crazy egoic busy tax-doing half: What if you get audited someday? Are you sure the receipts and everything will make sense looking back on them way down the track?
Zen half: Twelve...Thirteen...Fourteen....
Crazy egoic busy tax-doing half: I feel like I'm going to scream from boredom.
Zen half: Fifteen...Sixteen...Seventeen...
Crazy egoic busy tax-doing half: Taxes!!!!!
Zen half: Eighteen...Nineteen...
Crazy egoic busy tax-doing half: Hey, look - someone just replied to that Facebook update I did.
Zen half: Tw- Really? Who?