Saturday, August 24, 2013

on the margins

Suddenly, like a tornado descending on an Oklahoma trailer park, all of the kids are home. The house becomes small with their large presence ... each with an agenda that marginalizes those who more recently lived here.

Daughter and her husband are off to a wedding; younger son is planning a pilgrimage to a Mets baseball game; and older son has to get back to college to fulfill the duties of a part-time job tomorrow. Here and gone. Small, howling winds of activity, moving the furniture of a less-active daily life from here to there.

It is hard to remember a time when I was precisely the same ... not at all on the margins.



    There seems to be four major elements in life that, at the very least one is guaranteed and possibly all four can be experienced before ones death. The first one is we may die from disease or old age , or both, the second is we may die from and accident , such as car crash or workplace mishap...than we have the last two categories that have a much more profound effect on the human psyche in as much it can lead to any of the first two categories.
    The third element is we will choose willingly or subconsciously and on rare occasions forcefully to live a lifestyle to conform within society status quo thinking this is the only way one can manage to associate and function as a human being , be it good or choose to become an IT expert , you go through college planning ahead to attain a suitable income , align yourself in a clique of friends with similar interests, settle down with a wife , buy that house and have a family and retire someday. and along the way you do your best to enjoy life and avoid elements one and two for as long as possible..but this can fail and most parts of the equation often do ...another example, you align yourself with a company or group of friends and over time and through life and intellectual cycles you grow apart, but by the time you realise this transformation you now know you have failed in your chosen "lifestyle" element and it's time to kiss the pooch or disappear into the abyss with element one now taking front and centre..
    The last of the four elements that have a substantial effect of ones life is the breakdown of family or close relationships with people ( marriage being a logical one)...this element will happen to most people in life and how much one has depended on this mutual arrangement will determine the aftereffect . The failure in this element regularly leads to suffering that causes elements one to be brought forward through a downgrade in living conditions and health and can inadvertently lead to element two .

    This was all brought to mind when I sat zazen today, why?..well I'd taken a couple weeks off practicing and reading the zennie blogs thinking I needed a break from what other zennies we're thinking and see where I was at in the Zazen realm. When I was reading the Heart Sutra as always before meditating it struck me that every line in the sutra is a unique cycle in life and than it isn't...for when one first studies the Heart Sutra one can be inclined to learn and try and live it in it's written sequential order, but today I realised you can mishmash all the lines and you will still resonate with the underlying message...and the one line that resonated today to produce thee above elements :

    With no hinderance of Mind....

    And there you go....

  2. I am in the opposite situation Adam...just back from Rome. Literally not metaphorically. V has gone off on retreat. Here in the UK its a holiday weekend so kids and grandkids off doin'.
    Peace reigns. Lovely.
    I am still looking forward to seeing them all back however...