I remember how shocked I was when Dokai Fukui, a monk who ran a small Zen temple in Japan, wrote to me and said that he usually sat zazen, or seated meditation, for one incense stick a day and then went about his business.
I had assumed all Zen monks were all but grafted to their sitting cushions ... and sat four, five, six, seven, eight hours a day. Hell, even as a layman, I was sitting two or three hours a day at the time. And here was Dokai -- a wise soul if ever I met one -- sitting for an incense stick ... 30 or 40 minutes.
I remembered all that with a smile when I got up from my incense-stick's worth of sitting this morning. Maybe it's old age or delusion or laziness or understanding or misunderstanding ... hell, I don't know. I know I wasn't mimicking Dokai. But I was amused to come out at what seemed like much the same place he had depicted so long ago.