Wayne C. Allen's "Works in Progress"
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The Zen Timer

On needing a reminder

In a blog article, I wrote 10 suggestions for Zen Living. This was one of the points:

7. pay attention

Be Here Now. It's the only way to actually have a life. Mooning over the past or living in the future "...then I'll be happy..." is a sure fire way to get into trouble. You snooze, you lose.

Experiment: In Zen monasteries, a bell is rung at irregular intervals. The monks stop, and contemplate their level of 'presence' when the bell rang. Find a way to do the same - perhaps set a timer, and see where your attention was when it goes off.

Zen living: Pay attention. As you find yourself drifting off into thoughts and plans, plots and dreams, have a breath and bring yourself back to now. Interesting, real stuff is happening, and can only be appreciated by bringing yourself into the This Endless Moment. And what does it say about you if your fantasy life is more chargy and fun than your 'real life?'

The whole 'pay attention' thing caused me to think. I decided to have a programmer create a little program that runs on your computer, in the background, and randomly pops up a window with a reminder to pay attention. It also sounds chimes (from our Buddha Hall no less!!) You can download it for free, unzip it, and click 'setup.exe.' It will then run as you set it to.

Here are install directions, with illustrations:

Download Zen Timer here (right click and save)

Unzip

Click setup.exe

Once the program is installed, there's the option to run the program. Or you can launch it manually.

Once you do, you'll see a small window, with our copyright information in the box.

small

At the top of the little window is a category, "File." CLICK on it! You'll see a drop-down menu:

medium

Clicking "Start with windows" puts the program in your startup group. Leaving it unchecked means you'll manually start the program.

Clicking on "Start minimized" means the program will start with only an icon showing in the Tray. If you leave this option unchecked, the little window will appear when the program is launched. You can minimize it using the minimize button.

After the alarm goes off, the following window will pop up on top:

where

Options: The pop up alarm window has two buttons:

Again: which resets the timer to another random number

Close: exits the program

Enjoy the program!





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