August 22, 2009
Many years ago when I was a young Zen student living at Green Gulch Farm in California, a problem arose among the residents: a sliding wooden door at the entrance of the student living area was regularly being left open. As a result, cold Pacific Ocean winds would sweep in and chill our shared living space. Announcements were made at least a half dozen times at community work meetings reminding people to keep this door shut. But it was continually found open, and over time this became a remarkably divisive issue. People grew emotional, blaming and pointing fingers. In the midst of one tense meeting, Sierra, the farm’s pet golden retriever, opened the door from the outside and joined the group. Of course, Sierra didn’t close the door behind her. Everyone laughed. No one knew that Sierra had the dexterity to open a sliding wooden door. The group’s false assumptions had nearly led to an all-out battle.
–Marc Lesser, from "Assumptions," excerpted from the article "Do Less, Accomplish More: Let Go of the 5 Things That Waste Your Time," in the current issue of Tricycle (on the newsstands now). Read the rest here.
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