On Autopilot

There is a zen story that I want to share. The story roughly like this:

There is a zen student that is going to be graduated to be a master. This student then goes to hut where his master lives. He open the door, put down his umbrella and sit in front of his master.

His master then ask, “In which side of the door you put your umbrella?”

The student stunned with that question and feel ashamed that he doesn’t remember it. Then, he go back to his hut and return to his study and forfeit his graduation.

Zen teaching is about awareness. It is awareness about our surrounding, and aware about what we do. This student is simply on autopilot mode. He do that every time. Put his umbrella, take off his sandals, and enter the room, on and on again until all this become habit. And suddenly, he is not aware in what he did.

Autopilot can be a good thing. We can let our autopilot mind do whatever we regularly do, when our mind wanders about something else. But sometimes our autopilot fails.

Our autopilot mind is very much specific. Do this, then that, then that. Any little change in environment then autopilot will fails. As I was in the bathroom, I usually put my dirty clothes in one place and my new clothes in another. If I somehow swap those arrangement, as I did in my case, I ended up wearing my dirty clothes and left my clean clothes untouched. My autopilot mode is not recognizing this subtle difference.

Weird isn’t?

But as its definition, I have no control in my autopilot mode, I just do it. That is what zen master try to teach to his student.


About dnial

You don't see anything You don't hear anything You don't know anything Move along and pretend nothing happen

Posted on 20 Februari, 2011, in experience, life, writting and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Komentar.

  1. Habit if not resisted soon becomes necessity.

    Augustine of Hippo, p. 296.

  2. How to control this autpilot mind?
    Would trying new things one at a time help?

    Gee.. Me wanna try new habit in the morning, my morning autopilot mind isn’t really good..

  3. Maybe.
    It is not necessarily bad thing, though.

    Cuman contoh Zen ini karena kalau kita belajar Zen, prinsipnya awareness. Kita harus sadar dengan apa yang kita lakukan. Itulah yang nggak dikuasai murid ini.

  4. so, it means Autopilot can be trained, right? If we always keep doing a same thing consistently everyday, we will have a new habit. Is it possible? If yes, I really wanna have a quality time in all days :mrgreen:

  5. masalahnya autopilot mode itu seringnya malah terjadi pas saya ibadah..

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