— from The Secret History, by Donna Tartt.
"It slows you down. Keeps your thoughts from running wild. A good discipline in any circumstance. Or you might try doing what the Buddhists do."
"In the practice of Zen there is an exercise called zazen — similar, I think, to the Theravedic practice of vipassana. One sits facing a blank wall. No matter the emotion one feels, no matter how strong or violent, one remains motionless. Facing the wall. The discipline, of course, is in continuing to sit."
There was a silence, during which I struggled for language to adequately express what I thought of this goofball advice.
Anything in it?
Thinking in a different language slows you down, keeps your thoughts from running wild. I tend to think it's true; however, I tend to invoke this ability only when my mind is already in a leisurely state, not pressed.