Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Feigning Training

Scattered like bits of Kitty Litter on the kitchen linoleum of the mind this morning....

-- The Desiderata, which I admire, suggests
Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love...
Whether or not anyone plays the no-abiding-self card, still, how could anyone reach the truth of anything without first embracing the lies?

-- Don't pick your enemies according to their critics' dismay. Don't pick your friends according their friends' delight.

-- Don't feign ... and yet how could anyone assert the truth of what it is not-to-feign without first feigning or lying his or her ass off?

Feigning Training
-- If you want to know something, it is stupid not to ask. But it is stupider still to rely on the answer. Good to ask, better to find out... assuming anyone really wanted to know in the first place. When I asked my Zen teacher what Zen was, he grew irritable and said more or less, "I don't answer questions like that. If I did, then someone might say, 'Zen is this' or 'Zen is that.' If we drink tea together, you drink and I drink ... then we both know the taste of tea."

-- How infuriating it can be to recognize that the years of training and habit-building that went into ferreting out "answers" really doesn't cut the mustard. Early in my Zen practice, I remember sitting at a tea after evening meditation and listening to all those around me ... people who knew a lingo I was not yet entirely accustomed to ... "roshi," "enlightenment," "satori," "kensho," "emptiness" etc. ... and there came a point when my mind exploded in frustration: "Just tell me what I want to know so I can get the fuck out of here!" Luckily, I kept my exasperation to myself, because if I had expressed it aloud, someone might logically (and perhaps oozingly) have asked me, "So...what do you want to know?" And at that point I would have been forced to admit that I really didn't know what I wanted ... all I knew was that I really wanted it whatever it was! And now, looking back over so many years, I am delighted by my explosive reaction. It was right on target as I see it now: But you can't "get the fuck out of here" until you do a bit of Feigning Training.

 -- The spiritually-adroit and the self-helpers may be faking it or perhaps not. There's no knowing. But worse than not knowing if their "in the moment," "here and now," "vast emptiness," "no abiding self," "everything changes," "compassionate," "freedom and love" nostrums hold water is the recognition that my own nostrums stand on equally uncertain ground. Answers are curious critters, but they do seem to play a large role in the Feigning Training.

Love is love.

Tea is tea.

Fake is fake.

Kitty Litter is Kitty Litter... and cleaning it up is a pain in the tail.

How could that be feigned?

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