Tuesday, December 10, 2013

go out and sin some more

When young people ask me -- as they rarely do -- about Zen practice and then go on to display some zealous desire to get involved, a prickly imp begins wildly waving his arms in my mind ... he wants to have his say and is determined to say it, though I seldom give him the chance.

What he wants to say is the same thing he has wanted to say for years: "Go out and sin some more."

The imp has been insistent, adamant and assured: Without making some serious mistakes, without the fiery experience that has raised painful blisters, without (put bluntly) fucking up, the meaty, juicy savor of Zen practice goes begging. Age has a way of enriching fuck-ups and sorrows where youth, more often than not, has barely scratched the surface.

As I say, I have generally kept this imp in check. But today it occurs to me that keeping him in check is just another way of assuring his good health and boundless energy.

More important than that, however, is this: What makes me think that signing on with Zen practice is not the very sin that this imp has been encouraging all these years? What makes me think that (implicitly or explicitly) Zen practice is a blessed realm from which sin is somehow excluded or within which all that has been painful and wrong will somehow become healed and right ... bright and pure and worth defending from tarnished interlopers like "sin?"

Today I think I have made a big mistake.

Zen practice is as good a sin as any other.

I am sorry for my mistake.

Go out and sin some more.


  1. You know what ? I think one day Fisher you will disappear up your own asshole what with being so smart and sassy and paradoxical and all.
    I think you decided to play samsara's advocate some time back and now you are as stuck as any mealy mouthed conformist.
    In fact you are just another variety of conformist.
    As soon as your noodlings start to unroll what's coming next is as predictable as a Yellowstone geiser. Every time.

  2. Anonymous -- It beats the hell out of me why you bother to read the 'predictable' drivel you can point to but not correct.

  3. "Samsara's advocate" -- that's a good zinger!

    It must be exhausting to second guess oneself, constantly. To play both sides of the chessboard. Onlookers say "what the heck are we watching, here?"

    1. It must and they do. T
      The drivel does not need correcting Mr Fisher,
      Its drivel. The pointing to it is simply to indicate to anyone in doubt that the fact that it is drivel is known.
      And that it has nothing at all to do with Zen Buddhism.
      It is ego-driven word play.

  4. Dear Anonymous --
    I can understand that you might not respect me. But would you at least respect yourself enough 1. To use your own name as an adjunct to your words 2. Display whatever it is that does have to do with the Zen Buddhism you seem to have a handle on 3. And if you can manage neither of these things, will you tell me why I shouldn't simply delete posts that are delightedly smug but lack willingness to state a substantive position?

    If you are a teenager taking a break from other forms of masturbation, I can understand. Otherwise, I cannot.

  5. There's no intelligence applied in their posts. Just expressions of revulsion, not even cleverly done. No attempt to express what they're objecting to, no particulars, no point of debate. No attempt to correct whatever they find so foul. It's just adolescent trollishness. An angry and immature person who hasn't enough to do.