Thursday, July 29, 2010


Reading a dissection of age-group interest and affiliation with religious life this morning, I wondered to what extent conformity trumped daring. And more, how would anyone go about rating their own daring?

For example, I can put up a pretty good argument that Zen Buddhists -- or at least the ones who sit down on a cushion and shut up -- are pretty damned ballsy. And yet I hardly think of myself that way. And no one thinks they are especially daring when actually practicing zazen or seated meditation.

Daring seems to be rated either before or after the event ... but not during it. This is the reason so many politicians and priests sound ridiculous when praising the "heroism" of another. At a distance, something may be heroic ... but not when you ask the hero. The hero has been there and done that and knows that s/he never gave heroism a thought at the time.

It seems we can perceive a lack of daring in our own or others' actions, but I think it is harder to see our own very real daring. Does it matter? I don't know.

Just thinking -- a bit fuzzy-headed -- out loud.

1 comment:

  1. Is conformity found only in not questioning, in not daring? Is courage found only in accepting risk?

    Daring by taking risks is very dangerous when it exceeds ones capacity to do what follows.

    It can be daring to refuse a risk and it can show courage to decide not to proceed with what is(known to be)risky.

    There is a point of balance in this. Each of us determines this point in the moment because balance is an activity, it is not static because we are not and the situation is not.

    Sitting zazen is one practice in staying within the (range of) balance point deliberately. Doing it, failing at doing it, coming back to doing it failing, coming back ... improves the capacity to "do what follows" be it by choice or chance. choice.

    It is the risk taken and not taken, the non conforming and conforming task seen as necesary and not necessary, accepted and not accepted, accomplished and not accomplished.

    In the best of times, it is effortless ness in doing. It is work unfinished.