To cultivate a quiet mind, continuously observe the babble of thought in the head. Notice the repetition and negativity. See how the aim of these thoughts is to trigger an emotional response, how they parade their own importance. Dispassionate attention slows the mind. The space between thoughts expands.
In Mary Oliver’s arresting phrase, we are customers of death. A recent UK report says how we die is changing, moving from “a family event with occasional medical support, to a medical event with limited family support.”
Zen recommends a bit of front-walk sweeping done on the regular. The broom is your attention, the walkway your mind, the debris your thoughts. Visitors shouldn’t have to dance around a bunch of opinions just to knock on the door.