Yesterday, for Christmas, I received an email from a man who wondered about coming to sit on Sunday at the zendo here. He and his wife wanted to "check it out," as he put it.
Perhaps it qualifies as hypocrisy or paradox that I would, on the one hand, encourage anyone sniffing the spiritual wind in his or her life to snoop around, visit various gatherings, read up a storm, go to lectures, and find what amounts to a comfort zone ... and then practice... while on the other hand having a negatively-charged interest in being the gathering or space that might be snooped or checked out. I'm not much of a fan of the culturally-charged suggestion that people should ask three times, but perhaps I too will fall back into that hammock.
I have a lot of sympathy for those who are attempting to find their spiritual footing. It's such a confounding effort. What is anyone supposed to do when they don't know what to do? What are they supposed to think or believe or become good at? The internal longing is matched at every step by the buzzing bees of doubt ... what if it's all a crock of shit? And then there are all the external bees buzzing about how wonderful and fulfilling and doubt-exempt everything is. Most of them look pretty important and seem self-assured. And who knows? -- maybe they're telling the truth or anyway think they are. It's a daisy-cutter all right and I sympathize.
But sincerities come and sincerities go, however ornate and august and transcendent the target. Perhaps I will simply play the age card and say that although I am sometimes deeply-touched by human confusions and flounderings, I am not inclined to put a lot of money on sincerities, however sincere anyone might be.
The zendo is open to those who wish to practice. If you want to practice, practice. If you don't, don't. Just don't ask me to play along with or use my time on the sincerities.
Sign me, Cranky and Vaguely (but not very) Conflicted.
PS. 'Compassion' salesmen, please make your deliveries at the rear entrance.