10,000

Malcolm Gladwell‘s new book suggests that proficiency/virtuosity/mastery is something that requires time and effort. 10,000 hours is held up as the quantitative dividing line. Or ten years.

Apparently this applies both to the hockey stick and the violin. (I had an impulse to do some Googling last weekend, and found myself reading and reminiscing about Bobby Orr — best hockey player ever, and if you argue with me about that, it’s because you are too young to have seen him play.)

Yesterday, I listened to a podcast from Buddhist Geeks and someone mentioned the oft-repeated metric for success in zazen. Yes, 10,000 hours or ten years.

And, as always, there’s “the 10,000 things” — representative of individuated reality (“the relative”) as opposed to “the one” — representative of the ground of being, or the empty field (“the absolute”). Now don’t go being all dualist and think these are different. Or the same.

10,000

To study the Buddha Way is to study the self, to study the self is to forget the self, and to forget the self is to be enlightened by the ten thousand things.

– Eihei Dogen Zenji

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2 Responses

  1. Hah! Props to Bobby Orr–having grown up in Bobby’s territory, I am JUST old enough to have seen him play 🙂

  2. It is easier with capital S like “To study the Buddha Way is to study the Self, to study the Self is to forget the self, and to forget the self is to be enlightened by the ten thousand things. ”

    Dear Karen please visit my blog.

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