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Please Do Not Accept the Ride

Sometimes, Zen awakening is the act of not boarding every negative bus that stops in our path, asking us to get on and go for a ride. The voice of negativity announces departures with phrases like: “You should...”, “How come you don’t...”, toward destinations of guilt, shame, resentment, self-criticism, and blame. Here, no scenic routes are offered, only detours through dismal terrain.

The practice of meditation is straightforward: choose the rides we truly want to take. Let negative aspects of the mind do what it does, without giving our time and attention to the dead-end streets of guilt, shame, resentment, self-criticism, and blame that lead us to places that we really don’t want to go. Zen practice isn’t so much about avoiding the bus stops of negativity; it’s about choosing not to get on the bus with our attention in the first place.

Through consistent training and practice, it becomes easier to befriend ourselves. This is my experience, not merely an opinion. This is why, in Zen world we say that training and practice is awakening itself.

一We Are the Practice Itself

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