A Creative Breakout

Zen Basics - (a) (touch stone) for (your) (life style) of (emancipated attention).

Below you can find a creative breakout of the above sentence. They have been contributed by different individuals. We find this form of iso-magnification a creative way to dig into the topic. And, we definitely appreciate the inclusion of different voices contributing to what we hope is a harmony.


Zen Basics is not the only touch stone, and opinions vary on whether it may or may not be "the" touch stone. When it comes to tools/solutions of this sort I believe "a" is much better than "the." This will serve to remind us that it is just one solution of many possible solutions. And, perhaps there may even be a better solution lurching around. However, when drowning at sea no one insists on "the" life jacket. They are very happy to have "a" life jacket.

Singular thing, yet suggestive of multiple things. An instance of a class of things, which share some common trait or characteristic... this tool may be seen as one of a collection of related tools. This toolbox is proffered, and you might wish to rummage through it if you find utility in Zen Basics.

(touch stone)

Standard of comparison. a piece of fine-grained dark schist or jasper formerly used for testing alloys of gold by observing the color of the mark which they made on it. a standard or criterion by which something is judged or recognized.

A measure of, a standard of, or a method of assaying the purity of something. Yet also carrying the sense of being a fundamental part, or even an exemplar of something. Perhaps this may apply to Zen Basics as testing the purity of your attention. But as a tool it offers not only a test, but a means of improving, enhancing, or defending the quality and integrity of your attention. Furthermore, a means of recovering control of how it is directed.


Yes, we are talking about you personally. Not just someone in general. Of course While it is true that Zen Basics will work for this General Someone -- whoever that may be -- at the moment let's get to the heart of it and speak directly to "your" needs and solutions that can help you sort out "your" situation.

You are the authority, but you may not be what you think you are. Here we presume there to be some entity to whom the control of attention may be returned. Yet this entity may not be that with which you habitually identify. Perhaps this statement may confuse or disturb the character you seem to be currently playing. By actually practising Zen Basics that disturbance may gradually become welcomed, and that confusion may become comfortable. There's only one way to find out for your-self.

(life style)

Because the issues we are dealing with are so pervasive and ubiquitous a bandaid will not suffice. We need to meet the challenge through our life style.

The paucity of our language seems to be further revealed. The totality of your direct experience may be seen as indistinguishable from the absolute totality, and perhaps that could be what we gesture towards with 'life style'. Nonetheless, attention and it's management does feel like a ubiquitous concern, one that touches every point along the thread of your awareness. It seems so enmeshed in the fabric of the ongoing something that appears to be going on, that it cannot be addressed piecemeal or intermittently, but must be addressed as part of the whole of your 'life style'.

(emancipated attention)

Liberating our attention from the capture and control mechanisms employed by attention farmers is a must in the post truth age of social media -- a worthwhile goal. Let's face it, attention farmers have take advantage of the innate vulnerabilities of human brains to their profit and our detriment. You will have to take a very active role in the process of attention liberation.

Make no mistake, your attention right now is not your own. Even contemplating that statement may stimulate feelings of indignantcy or denial, and the very up welling of those feelings, coming unbidden into your attention, could serve to reveal the truth of the statement. If you can be present to catch yourself in that moment. Others know the vagaries of your attention all to well, and have methodically built systems to take advantage of it. Mechanisms to enslave, and to extract value from your attention. If you have any doubt of this, practising Zen Basics can reveal the true terror of the situation to you. But it doesn't just leave you hanging, it also offers the glimpse of freedom, and a route towards it.