Monday, February 4, 2013

the once and future king

Why is it that spiritual endeavor is always couched in some "then" -- the "then" of the past when wonderful expositors roamed the earth or the "then" of the future when accomplishments will surely accrue? Even the most delicious prattling about "living in the moment" invariably refers to something that is "then."

It's not enough that the dishes need washing, the kids need kissing, the yard needs raking, the marriage vows need speaking, the music needs hearing, the tears need spilling, and there is vacuuming to be done.

Spiritual life is couched protectively in a "then" that is either dead as a doornail or glistening like a mirage.

I guess it feels safer that way.

And it certainly brings in more money.


  1. The kids need kissing, the music needs hearing.
    If you do it spontaniously, what's the problem?

  2. If you do it spontaneously, the one who claims spontaneity is likely to gum up the works.

  3. I am spontaneous ... a statement of occasional fact. I do it without thinking ... helping, kissing, hugging, lifting ... without a backward glance.

    And then, using a backward glance, I acknowledge my spontaneity. "I was spontaneous." There was no problem.

    And the person who lays claim to spontaneity is no longer spontaneous. In this way, the spontaneity of the moment is lost to belief or meaning or hope or control.

    Spontaneous is great because it is flowing and natural. It accords with the moment. But who is the one who lays claim to spontaneity. Is s/he spontaneous in accord with the moment or does s/he insist on getting her/his way?

  4. Do you always filter everything through your mind ?
    You seem ultra self conscious.

  5. It's a habit, I grant you.

    But look at it this way: My mistakes, when aired, may help you to see what sort of idiot you don't need to be

  6. Why do you consistently see things in terms of idiocy yours or anyone elses ?

    Why also do you see things in terms of mistakes..yours or anyone elses ?

    It all seems so.....wordy.

  7. It's just a habit ... and yes, it is wordy. But the words help to point out that wordiness doesn't help much.

    The only thing more foolish than examining your own life is not-examining your life, but this is not something one person can tell another. It either makes some sense or it doesn't.

    In the good news department, if there is some shortage, there are always fortune cookies... and laughter.

  8. genkaku speaks from the principle, so if you don't know the principle, I guess it can make you (one) angry. Anger, anger on the wall..guilty as charged 2.

  9. You seem fixated on dualities..foolishness or wisdom.
    How can words point to the limitation inherent in words?
    I think what you are doing in an attempt to coin new ways to present the benefits of Zazen without both checks and balances and drawbacks that come from a formal sangha, actually complicates the issues more.
    It starts to feel like one of those exercises where someone is asked to write an essay without using the letter " e".
    Your need to deny the possibility that someone might see what we need to do to improve our sitting in the short term than we can, leads to you having to jump through more conceptual hoops and traverse more muddy trails than would be the case if someone simply found a teacher with a reasonable rep and asked their advice.
    Some people approach Zazen from a conditioning that makes them vulnerable to authority figures.
    Your approach is the other extreme, it is so aversive to any notion of authority that you are constantly ploughing up the seeds left by previous generations for our use.

    1. OK ... find a teacher, follow his or her instruction, imbibe and digest and put into practice ... see how that works. You could do worse, obviously.

  10. Didn't read the dude as being averse to authority in any manner, shape or form. Just hear the old man saying 'find the way, find the truth, Buddha's truth for the way look ....'
    That, plus a few very kind pointers along the way, and willing to take shit from those who would still misunderstand. If that ain't kindness, I don't know what is.