Zhuangzi once said, “I’m going to try speaking some reckless words. I am askin You as YOU to listen recklessly.” And so here it is…
Occasionally people approach me having read some book or series of books, wanting to practice Zen… wanting enlightenment… wanting ego death. Oy vey!
They want to practice Zen, but then mysteriously cannot seem to make time to train. They want enlightenment, but have no idea what it is… interesting, because we’re already complete. They want ego death… not knowing what that is either. Zen is not a frontal lobotomy which results in levitation. Besides ego death? Seriously? Really? We cannot kill what hasn’t been born. That’s like saying, I want to kill the wake, of a ship moving through the water. That makes zero sense.
It could be useful to say… “I’ve heard about this word called Zen, but have no true idea of what It is… I’m interested in discovering what that is. could you assist me?” My response varies with the person. However it seems to pay letting people knock two or three times, cause the ego often appears to want the instant gratification of a “Yes.” After that the challenge question is, are you willing to train with regularity. If they say “Yes,” then okay. If not or they say they cannot make time, the answer is obviously “No.”
Why? Because Zen is not a fn hobby! It’s a Way of being. And if we begin baking a cake at low temperature, or neglect the ingredients given, or keep opening the door on the oven before it’s done, or remove it from the oven before it’s complete, we end up with shit; worse off than never having attempted to bake the cake at all. Thoroughness is a “Thing.” instead of calling people people, we could refer to them as waffles, cause were so proficient at waffling.
My words or stern, yet less stern than reality. I’ve known too many that have relapsed on things other than drugs, after making a little progress. I know a lot of people who have committed suicide. I know a lot of people that have OD’ on drugs. I know an endless number of people that have cheated on themselves, betraying their values, for crumbs from the table, seeming to get fed, but really only starving on slave rations, slopped out by egos ladle. I know a lot of people who are the architects of their own suffering. Dukkha sucks! Just look around.
Fierce grace is fierce. Fierce love is fierce. Fierce practice is fierce. Fierce healing is fierce. Holding back only holds us back. If you begin training, never give up! Cultivate a warriors presence and bearing. We know gold by how it responds to the fire and forge of Reality.
一May Your Life Go Well