Sunday, November 25, 2012

How to Love My Poison and Have it Too?

I think the sages erred in naming the three buddhist poisons, my friends greed anger/hatred and ignorance. The moment the bad is mentioned, it is my tendency to want to prove I have the good. I become obsessed with needing to show I am not poisoned; I don't get angry; I am studying to overcome ignorance; I am giving up my things to show I have no greed.

And, perhaps more importantly, I am quick to fault others for their anger; I tisk-tisk their offensive, or naive, or stupid statements as a symptom of their ignorance, I whisper in the zen do hallways that if their greed didn't bind them so much, they wouldn't mind sitting on the buckwheat zafu.

I was moaning to a friend the other day about how difficult zazen can be. He said he has come to embrace his imperfections. That got me wondering if that [statement about it being an imperfection] wasn't just one step too far. The first step, I think, is to embrace my anger, or sadness, or envy, or shame (whatever the heck was is at work) in the first place, before I nicely nod and package the situation as an imperfection.

I need to carefully keep my pet poisons in a pen. Care for them.accept them. I get angry...that's okay. I am ignorant...that's okay. I want to have what I don't and keep what I do...that's cool.

I've heard Suzuki said I am exactly where and who I need to be. These three guests I would often rather not be seen with, I better invite into my house for dinner. When I can sup with them, I will not be starring out the window afraid they will be seen lurking around my house.