Sunday, August 23, 2009

Zen's best gift to me..

is the understanding that water is water, fire is fire, earth is earth and they don't need to become like each other or for that matter, any one else. Now, this might not be a big thing for someone else, but for me, it was. Being born in a highly competitive social structure, there were often examples sited of other people and how we should become successful like them. I did spend a good part of my life trying to become successful and I still do. It doesn't wear off that easily. It was only after sitting on cushion and pondering over suchness for days, that I realized how unique each of us is and how uniquely we are gifted. All of us possess our own "suchness". We need to honor the gift that we have, the talent that is naturally ours and no one else's and nurture it. Do only what you are uniquely inspired to do and nothing else. Everything else will fall in place automatically. It is such a liberatioin for a person like me. A rose flower is a rose flower, and if it spends its life comparing itself to a Jasmine flower and trying to become like it, what a shame. I pondered and pondered over suchness, it was making no sense to me and then it unfolded - what a beauty! It was a whole different world to see from eyes of suchness. I am deeply thankful and I want to bow to no one in particular.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Ah! The Great Expectation!

Here I am, with a perfect opportunity to practice. Mind you it is difficult to do so, at least for me. Lot more easy to chant - "form is emptiness and emptiness is form", much more difficult to do (we are reading Heart Sutra for a class at my Zen Center). I am putting effort in something, something that is necessary for sustenance of this form (body and mind). I am impatient, I want quick results and I want it to get over soon. It might take some effort and I don't want to spend a lot of effort. Do you see all the "wants" I have just listed?

I am thankful that mindfulness is allowing me to see this process. If it was before I embarked on path, the sheer stress and pa nick would have consumed my being. I still have those two companions but, I am able to let go of effort as "just effort", a part of my "suchness", nothing more to it. Actually, at times, I am able to enjoy the effort (nice!). I am able to look at stress and tell myself that it is empty of self existence, I need not let that poison spread in my body and mind and when I look into source of stress, it is my lack of confidence in the ability of life. Zen has enabled me to see the beauty of life, how perfect it is and how much I fail to notice it. It has enabled me to see that I don't live life with all my planning and procuring and calculating risk, but rather it lives me, supports me and enables me. I am not able to see this all the time but, I am thankful for times when I can. I have confidence in the myriad dharmas...:). My teacher said yesterday - be curious, see what life offers. In order to be curious, I have to leave my plans aside and give life room to show me what I cannot imagine and plan for...:).

It is 5:30 AM EST now, perfect time to sit. The cushion awaits me.