Brad Warner's latest post on goalless practice is really good. I really dislike his blog comments area. It's too scary, mean. Not welcoming. The regulars seem to pretty much shred newbies.
What do I want? To reach out and ping, and say hey, and exchange ideas, and see if anyone gives a rat's ass. That's really it.
Brad's video comes from Dogensanghalosangeles.org. When I was looking at that I stumbled on the Dogen group in Belgium. I've traveled to Brussels a lot in the past on business and so felt a kinship for the near-Brussels location. The leader is an older woman. The pic's show her so calm and cool and collected and together, it just sent me into a tizzy. If I were to drop in, or email, or say, 'Hey, you look really cool', well first, how lame, and second, would she give a rats ass?
I think every Buddhist blogger I follow has 'it' together. None ramble or complain irrationally. At first I'd say you can't, but maybe you're very open to your humanness and can imagine how hard it is to blog what's really bouncing around in my head.
One of my blogger friends - I guess, I don't know for sure, could all be naivete on my part - often says "persevere brightly." I really like that. I try, but I don't always achieve it. I think he would probably dislike me if he ever met me. In truth I am not always bright. Though I think ultimately, even after every push and shove I have an innate optimism that still embraces the concept.
I want to know what it would be in Japanese. Though it is close to 'gambaremasu' it also makes me think of a scene in the Seven Samurai when one pore sod was near dead and the Mifune character encouraged him to 'brace up!' (or at least that was the English subtitle). We used that for years in an Aikido school I helped run to get people off complaining streaks. 'Persevere Brightly.' 'Brace Up!' These are good ideas.
I just want someone with Buddhist authority to tell me I'm doing okay. I am really a pretty piss poor Buddhist by the common yard sticks. I don't do zazen every day. Sometimes not for weeks. When I do, its never for 30 minutes. I don't have a teacher. There's one about 30 minutes away, but I can't get visiting that zen center into my routine.
I got into Zen because of Warner's first book. But he doesn't want 'remote' students. Which feels like he doesn't give a rats ass.
So why do I stay on this Buddhist bent and give such a half a rats ass towards my practice? I guess its that iron ball thing. I can't swallow it, and I can't spit it out. I completely accept the thesis of delusion, and that all I perceive is mind, and mind is wrong, and if I could drop mind, suffering would drop with it, and that there is no true individuation of anything, just a varying density in fabric of the universe that I choose (was taught) to understand as 'me' and 'not me.'
So maybe you are a bit like me. Your mind occasionally gets hyper tangled in intellectual discernment. Your mammalian herd instincts long for some alpha Buddhist creature to throw you a bone and give a rat's ass so you can have a few moments of peace. You have moments of complete at-easeness interspersed with feelings of fear, loneliness, isolation and confusion.
If so, then I hope it gets better for you. I hope you learn to just accept what you feel in any moment and take comfort in knowing it is 'just' your brain doing what brains do. Your thoughts are not you. You are a part of the great mystery. All the buddhist sages were no different from you. Any ideas of good and bad, better and worse, famous and insignificant, are empy constructs. Breath in, breath out. That is the whole universe. That is Buddha. Sit and stare at a wall for as long as you can. Enjoy the infinite no-time that might pop up in the experience. Do one thing and then do the next thing. Pay some acceptance forward. Remember all people are ignorant of 'it' in some way, even you (and me). When it seems like it might help, find the compassion to give a rat's ass to your self and to someone else.
1 week ago