Friday, September 24, 2004

Oscar the grouch

I wasn't gonna post today. I am too out of sorts, out of time. I didn't even write much to my friends on CSM. I try to be the supportive one, the helpful one and today I just don't feel up to it. And I have to confess, I started another blog. A secret blog where I can write all the mean stuff that I won't say and I won't write here and I won't even write to my sister. So there! I'm cheating. There is another me! But that still leaves something for me to write here. I thought about looking up an uplifting quote to put here. Honestly, I can't do it. I don't know that I would even know an uplifting quote if I read one. Just about everything is bothering me today. Should I list my complaints -- an ungratitude list? I am still sick, my throat still hurts, I still have too much work to do. I guess tomorrow or the next day or certainly by next week (when this @#*& proposal has been mailed) I will feel better. I know this but it doesn't help right now because I am in a mood that doesn't want help, I spit on help.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

One view of zazen

I've been sick for a few days with a bad head cold and have a big deadline at work, so rather than not post at all, I thought I would just post a paragraph from Hardcore Zen. I chose this one because of Dale's comment, my struggles with zazen on Sunday and because I thought it was humorous.

For everyone -- everyone -- who first takes it up, zazen is tedious and awful. Your brain is in constant motion like there's a hive of angry wasps in your head. There are moments when you're certain you're going to have to leap right off your cushion and run around the room singing the chorus of Hello Dolly! just to keep from going utterly bananas. Anybody who doesn't feel that way about it, at least sometimes, is not doing the practice very sincerely. Zazen isn't about blissing out or going into an alpha brainwave trance. It's about facing who and what you really are, in every single goddamn moment. And you aren't bliss, I'll tell you that right now. You're a mess. We all are.

--Brad Warner Hardcore Zen

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Sunday Zen

I went to the zendo today. I didn't go last week and I almost didn't go today. Why is it so hard? My mediations was mostly sitting and thinking about stuff. I had a few moments of actually doing the work but that was it. I definitely felt more focused during the nitensoji (short cleaning period during formal practice), sweeping the brick path, than I had during zazen. Maybe I need more activity and less sitting in front of this computer? I had a slight headache the whole morning and I began to contemplate the pain and how it kept me in my body and mind. Perhaps that's why we hold on to pain? To stay with the ego self? The discussion with our teacher was wonderful as usual. He was reading one of Roshi's teishos and in was a line about being one with everyone, and everyone being no other than myself. Therefore when I injure someone, I am injuring myself. For some reason, this made me cry. It wasn't a very strong cry, since I was with the group and supposed to be listening and participating in the discussion, but it was good because some of the debris of the last two weeks was washed away, some of the tightness was loosened, and some of the agitation was released. A small bit of peace could seep into me. And that felt very good indeed.