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The Computer Bridge

By Judith Bossert

Step by step,

Sometimes reluctantly,

I walk over the bridge

Between nothing and nothing at all.

Among the many teachers I have had in my life, one of them has been the computer. Typing on the computer is like walking meditation, breathing with the steps of my fingers on the keys. It is amazing and beautiful. The practice is easy when I take things as they are. But when life seems hard, I hesitate and even try to avoid taking the next step. At such times, I notice that my breathing continues, and I see life as a play between the breath and my fingers on the keys. Then I am able to "walk over the bridge, between nothing and nothing at all."

When I first learned the computer, I was delighted with how I could step with my finger on a key and have the corresponding character appear on the screen. I could type as many lines as I wanted, and when the screen was full, the top line would disappear as the bottom line appeared. I sometimes meditate on where the characters come from and where they go. The computer accepts every word and lets go of every sentence. It does not try to hold onto a nice poem, nor does it try to avoid a letter that may be difficult, like "q."

Once I made a wonderful mistake on the computer. With just one finger-step, the whole text on the screen disappeared! No matter what I tried, I could not retrieve it. It seemed to me that all the letters, words, and lines were laughing at me, saying "Ha, ha, here we are, in emptiness! Here in the place where you also belong, where you come from, and where you go." I laughed back and felt grateful for this wonderful mistake. The computer screen—the bridge between nothing and nothing.

Judith Bossert, True Form, is a Dharma teacher in Germany.

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What is Mindfulness

Thich Nhat Hanh January 15, 2020

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