:: Sunday, April 20, 2003 ::
More thoughts on zazen
I haven't been meditating much recently. Its hard at times.
But today, well, I think I may have the inspiration. OK, it was a cheap (impure?) inspiration. I was riding the streetcar to the quarter. On my way to a party. I saw this attractive girl. Damn, she even distracted my book (I was reading "Justice and its Surroundings" by Anthony DeJasay). Anyway, I asked myself "what attracts me to this person". And I determined it was her radiance, her happiness, etc......
Sadly, I doubt that I am radiant. Often at parties people tell me "why do you keep to yourself" or ask my why I look so uncomfortable. Of course I could tell them "because people are scarry" or "I am uncomfortable in social situations", but hey, why be open? Not like any of you are going to tell them, right (OK, I'm opening myself up here for a little unfortunate discovery). Anyway, I was wondering how I could have a happy attitude in social situations. Or any situation. It came to me. Zazen.
Some may be skeptical of this possability. I mean perhaps meditatin can bring enlightenment. But happiness in social situations??? It is possible. I will note that my friend, Charles Goodman, now on staff at the Philosophy Department at the University of Wisconsin is probably the most experienced meditator I know. I have seen him take pleasure in the most mundane things. He attributes it to meditation. I believe him.
Ther is only one hitch. You are not supposed to be trying to gain anything through meditation. As Shunryu Suzuki Roshi says in his famous book "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind": "[A]s long as you think you are practing zazen for the sake of something, that is not true practice". So maybe my efforts will fail.
But to take it a step further, why practice zazen. Because you want to sit on a cushion for hours on end? Is this really the search for oblivion?
:: Mike 2:57 AM [+] ::