Zen equals Awareness
We have all had those moments when we are thinking about something else and a buck appears out of nowhere and vanishes before we can react. We should have, could have, and would have harvested him if only we had been more alert, more aware.
What we need to do is to cultivate a peace of mind that does not separate us from our surroundings. We need our minds to slip into zen. That quiet place between thoughts.
Zen is a state of consciousness that lies between the past and the future and is totally immersed in what is happening now, right now.
The best way to describe zen is to picture a train traveling down the tracks. The engine is you. The boxcars and all that they contain are your past. The tracks that lay before you are the future. Zen is that two-dimensional plane that exists at the front edge of the engine. It is where the cutting edge of reality exists and where we need to be. It is what is happening right now at this instant. This is where the action is. It cannot exist anywhere else.
The boxcars represent the internal dialog of our past speaking to us. Spending time in the boxcars is like thinking about where you were instead of where you are. Looking down the tracks, even if it’s only a couple of feet, is trying to look into the future. This leaves Zen or the front edge of the train as the only reality. The past exists only in memory and the future exists only in our plans. Internal dialog keeps our minds in a rigid attachment to the past and doesn’t allow us the freedom to be creative.
The whitetail woods are never static. We must be able to be creative in our tactics if we wish to achieve a more consistent level of success. This self-talk, this internal turbulence keeps us a prisoner of past conditioning and won’t allow us to properly react to the environment around us. Too much self-talk and we become stagnate in our approach to hunting.