With palms together
Good Morning Everyone,
There are times when I am much less comfortable with myself than I imagine myself to be. Over the years, with practice, these times are far more rare and the space between what I "want myself to be" and "how I am" feels much smaller. I believe this is a result of two things: first, my ideal is much more reality based and second, I have worked hard to be as present and clear minded as possible.
Still, there are those times I would like to be more present with my family. Understandable. Yet, I would also like to be seen as generous, compassionate, and patient. At the same time, I am embarrassed to admit to these needs. I wonder where such needs come from?
Probably the same place as any ego need. Which tells me my "self" is alive and well and still crying for nurturance. Such a cry (or sometimes the vaguest whisper) is an essential practice tool. As we hear it, we should pay attention to both its quality and its source.
Is our need to be seen in a particular way a recognition within ourselves that there is a gap between our self ideal and our behavior? Where does this "ideal" come from? And what about our concern for people's responses to us? Is that our insecurity?
We practice Zen in order to be real, authentic, present focused human beings who can be open and compassionate even under less than desirable conditions. When we find ourselves wanting, perhaps that judgement should be examined as a call to action.
My own practice tells me I need to work on compassion, patience, and generosity: but mostly, on humility.
Humility is that gap between self and other: the smaller the gap, the higher the level of humility. It is, after all, our sense that we are somehow different from others and the judgements about these differences that insures and insulates a self.
What do you have to work on?