This is probably not what you mean by Zen "Coming up in conversations" but I'll tell the story anyhow.
When I went to college, a long time ago now, I read a lot of Zen stories and Koans. I didn't know much about what I was reading then...but I liked them.
Once I was waiting for a class to start, and I pulled out my book of Koans to read. I was puzzling over the "meaning" of one. Another student walked by me, saw I was reading the Koans, and asked me, "What the ---- is all this Zen ----, anyhow!"
Just as he said that it was like everything had slowed down. I could hear the clock going,,,,Tick.....Tock....Tick....Tock. All the students hurrying to class suddenly seemed to be moving in slow motion. Everything had slowed down to a crawl.
I was so startled by this that i let out an involuntary shout.
The student that had asked the question must have thought I was going crazy. He dropped his books and ran off, to get away from the crazy man, I guess. And just as he did that, everything came back to normal speed.
Maybe that's why Zen doesn't often come up in polite conversation.
I wonder if he ever came back to pick up his books?
Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
from - Judyth Collin
The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach