Tuesday, August 11, 2015

prescriptors, descriptors and callouses

Perhaps at the outset of spiritual adventures, the teachings and practices might be called "prescriptors" ... what to do, how to do it, doing it, etc.

But I wonder, as time slips away, if further down the road, spiritual adventure doesn't loosen its grip and become something more like a "descriptor" -- just a means of describing what actually happens ... no big deal.

When I first read of Zen Buddhist monks getting callouses on their asses, I was somehow taken aback. Sure, intensive and longtime meditation sitting was part of the program, but callouses?! I was doing a little sitting at the time and couldn't imagine getting callouses on my ass, even in a most intensive setting.

Nowadays, with dwindling energy and a greater reliance on sitting down as the days pass, there are collouses on my ass. It's hardly a wonder or a novelty or a mark of spiritual advancement. Callouses form anywhere there is repeated and prolonged use. Cause and effect ... no need to inject spiritual icing into an already-made cake.

Spritual adventure starts out as something "else" -- something that will ease or erase or bring relief. There are prescriptions and, often, hymns of one kind or another. Spiritual endeavor is "good" and as such, holds things at a distance, while claiming to bring them close. "Interconnection," dontcha know. A world of prescription.

But when things calm down and the bright lights are no longer quite so necessary ... well, you get callouses on your ass with or without a spiritual overlay. Spiritual life becomes one possible way of describing things ... and the things, as always, don't mind and don't require improvement.

Presciptors, descriptors and callouses.

It's raining around here today.

1 comment:

  1. Well my first thought was to recommend, once again, a hammock so you could spread the load and lessen the callous potential. But then i noticed i seem to choke on the word "spritual". My teacher certainly didn't shrink from the metaphysical possibilities, but the emphasis was on suffering right now and "mind". I suppose spirit speaks to ghostly soul or something that has no bearing on mind in this moment. Oh well, ain't that interesting. lol