Sunday, September 20, 2009

Anything Else But That!

The other day I talked about teabags. Yogi tea to the rescue again! A visitor asked me how to start meditating and referred her to the black chai box with its drawings of how to meditate on it.

She also asked "Why do I always not meditate even though I want to and know it will help me a lot?" That's not a new question for me either. Although I love meditation I often want to do almost anything else except that. It's a bit like parents, for whom their child is the most precious thing, wanting it to go to bed and be out of their way.

Anyway, for those embarking on their rocky road of zen (meditating and working with a real life accredited teacher) they will eventually come, maybe after a life time of practice, to a place where they just enjoy their life and don't feel guilty any more about it.

So no wonder we just keep going on with our ordinary human existence.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

It's amazing how our very, very earliest experiences still lay down the blueprint for the rest of our lives. Not only how we are, but how and why we practice. These very early experiences we as infants interpret as "I'm no good therefore he left me", "I am not worthy of her love because she doesn't keep me close to her / with me / comfort me. "

We have to find our own early traumas and see what our interpretations were. Meditation is a good place to do this. Maybe they were the best idea we could come up with at the time, but are they still relevant 15 to a 115 years later? "I only undo chains and untie knots" said Master Rinzai when asked how he taught his students. Viola!

There seems to be a right time for the waking up just like there's a time for fruit to be ripe. So we can be grateful for the set of circumstances which brought about our decision (karma). This makes us the sort of people we are and how we live our lives (in zen terms how Buddha Nature manifests through us.) It all comes together, a servant, a teacher, a dreamer, an organiser, a hermit, a leader, a philanthropist and on and on it goes. Our teacher sees at once what we are and the work is partly to help us accept who and what we are.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Pandoras Box (The cause of all the trouble in the world)

It's the small self this I, me, my. What is this I, me and what is this "my" gnawing away like a mouse, or what is the relationship between the self and the Self?

My teacher Genpo Roshi used to talk often about the all-inclusive Big Mind and Big Heart.

Many people tell me how sad it is to see me now. But I see it as a wonderful opportunity to clarify and to practice however I can. Opposite my house is a small field with cows in it and beyond that is the village graveyard. It is the winner of the best kept churchyard award and a constant reminder of the shortness of this human life with all its opportunities. At the end of each day there is chanted in zen monasteries "Let me respectfully remind you, life and death are of supreme importance, time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Let us awaken, awaken, take heed! Do not squander your life."