Sat 8 Oct 2005
When recently someone asked me where I’m from I jokingly answered that I’m from the railway. In fact, for the last four weeks I was on a train almost every other day and for at least 10 hours each week. I was a bit skeptical at first and I’m still worried about the winter (with snow and freezing cold I don’t really enjoy being outside) but I begun to appreciate and value those hours I spend in railway carriages. It turned out pretty quickly that on this job those are really my quiet desk hours – time for writing e-mails and conceptualizing which I don’t get enough otherwise. No one comes to disturb, somehow few people do call then and my ugly HP laptop can run for about three hours on the batteries, which is really enough for most cases.
I’m definitely a car fan, but I have to admit that going on a train is simply using my time better. Driving relaxes me and I do a lot of thinking behind the wheel, but definitely I can’t work there and concentration level necessary is surely more tiring that sitting in a railway compartment. And given the horrible state of most Polish roads even the slow Polish trains are quicker than a car on the routes I take. For example, going to Krakow from Warsaw is 2.5 hours of work in a relatively comfortable seat instead of about four hours of a risky road-race (most people here are rally drivers in constant training).
Trains are just a part of my efforts to optimize my use of time. I bought a GPRS/Edge card for my laptop, so that I can stay on-line most of the time – this allows me to send results of my work to others as soon as I’m done without having to worry when and how would I be able to get to the Internet. I consistently manage to pack quicker and squeeze more into the same, small suitcase. I think that within two months I would get even more efficient by optimizing various small tasks like these – apart from being better organized overall. My saying that the more there is to do the more gets done in the same amount of time proves true again. Of course, there is a limit somewhere but I feel I haven’t reached it yet.
Apart from optimizing my time remembering to sometimes take my mind off the company and it’s problems became more important recently. I have to avoid overload and be able to switch off at least for some sleep. In this context it really troubles my that I don’t manage to sit zazen everyday as I used to. Furthermore, I don’t visit the zendo because I’m away from the city on the days of practice. My practice is an important part of me – discovering Buddha’s path to realization was one of the most important – if not the most important – thing in my life (maybe I’ll write about it some day). I won’t allow this swirl of events to push me off that path – even if for some time I would concentrate more on this stuff I still know, feel, that well… it’s all just streams in the bright, clear space of mind.
This Thursday there is a chance that I would be in Warsaw just in time to go for a full-time sitting in the zendo. We have a meeting in the Warsaw office so all three of us would be there for the whole day and I probably won’t go to anywhere that Friday.
And thank you all for kind words of sympathy and encouragement. I value your voices even if I don’t reply to each and every one of you personally.