Western rational thought is not an innate human characteristic;
it is learned and is the great achievement of Western civilization.
In the villages of India, they never learned it. They learned something else,
which is in some ways just as valuable but in other ways is not.
That’s the power of intuition and experiential wisdom.
Coming back after seven months in Indian villages, I saw the craziness
of the Western world as well as its capacity for rational thought.
If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is.
If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm,
and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things—that’s when
your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly
and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see
a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than
you could see before. It’s a discipline; you have to practice it.
Zen has been a deep influence in my life ever since. At one point
I was thinking about going to Japan and trying to get into the
Eihei-ji monastery, but my spiritual advisor urged me to stay here.
He said there is nothing over there that isn’t here, and he was correct.
I learned the truth of the Zen saying that if you are willing to travel around
the world to meet a teacher, one will appear next door.
Jobs did in fact find a teacher right in his own neighborhood. Shunryu Suzuki,
who wrote Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind and ran the San Francisco Zen Center,
used to come to Los Altos every Wednesday evening to lecture and meditate
with a small group of followers. After a while he asked his assistant,
Kobun Chino Otogawa, to open a full-time center there. Jobs became
a faithful follower, along with his occasional girlfriend, Chrisann Brennan,
and Daniel Kottke and Elizabeth Holmes. He also began to go by himself on
retreats to the