With palms together,
Good Morning Everyone,
My granddaughter, Livvie, is at my side trying to figure out a way to distract me. She decided to attempt to staple pages of my journal together, so we made a "book" with typing paper. She decided to write her name on her book and insisted I see it. I thought it was great. At three her letters leave a little to be desired and some are upside down. I said her "V" was upside down, so she turned her book around! Great! But now all the other letters are upside down. Magic.
So, I decided to stay attentive by writing about the moment as it was happening. No morning meditation this morning: just being Papa to Livvie.
Its now after breakfast. I made Livvie and My Little Honey pancakes with heated syrup. Of course the pups had their share, as well. Judy and Livvie went "shopping" so I am alone with the dogs and robots. This is good. It gave me an opportunity to clean the house. So, here I am back at my desk.
What is Zen Living? I have asked this question of myself and of you several times over the years I've been posted here. I am no closer to an answer. Zen Living is present moment living. It is living aimed at being awake.
To be awake we must be willing to be open. And that is very challenging, is it not? After all if we are open we might get hurt. A cherished belief might get exposed as a falsehood. We might suffer greatly.
On the other hand we cannot be intimate, even with ourselves unless we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and are willing to process what happens as a result of that vulnerability. We allow ourselves vulnerability when we feel safe. And this leads us to the catch-22.
Master Dogen, recall, said that to study the Way (live Zen) we must study ourselves (practice zazen and mindfulness in action). As we study ourselves, our "self" drops away (we see the great oneness of everything and see our individuality as a delusion). As this happens, we free ourselves, so to speak, to be taught by all things.
In other words, when we know our true nature we are free from fear, just as the Great Heart of Wisdom Sutra teaches. Oh my. Does this mean we cannot be intimate and live as fearless Bodhisattvas until we are Awake? No! It means we must trust those who have gone before us and have faith in our practice. It means we take baby steps. It means we practice selfless action and experience life as it is without trying to make it this way or that.
I hope this helps. May you each be free from suffering.