7 12 2008

I thought I needed some work, in that dept, but I did not think I needed a great deal, but I do…alot! I have not gotten over some worldly type attachments, like giving up our condo, the big thing right now. I thought I had it pretty together mind wise on dealing with the total collapse of X amount of years of work, dreams and money. I really really understand the pain people who have had their home for years and years , raised their families there and then had to give it up this year…how Sad!


It is an on going process, like Chan/Zen practice, or it’s smaller portion of just doing Zazen. Thoughts come and go, once you think you have a grip on not having thought attachments , at least for short periods… BAM, you’re off on some mind trip about what will be for dinner, or the lesson in web-design class that day.  From there you become aware that you have slipped off the track. Re-center and go back to practice mind control, without really trying to do mind control and in the case of a Shaolin Zen cultivator, you go back to focus, working on a chakra or just breath. Stay connected to the breath, yet do not become attached to the breath.

What brought this on was LZ and I went out looking at Apts last Sat. This week was not so bad. Last week was the awaken-er. Looking at places, so many people in some complexes, mini cities almost, some have poor vibes (the places), the like, blah blah. Then there is the mind thing of going from one who is an owner ( the pride, the ego, the false security, the now under lying sense of failure, lost of face), a partner in the unit, community… to someone who is just passing through another, Traveller. Of course the reality of all that, the real deal is, no matter what we do ( or who), own, go, etc, we’re still just travellers and own nothing. It gets difficult remembering that in a society of consumers with daily travels on the paths of illusions of pleasures for mind and body. We live everyday walking on the boundary of real and unreal, staying sane, balanced…at least some try.

“Life is Zen practice”

We really own nothing. We just use things, borrow things. Well everything really like this body we use for transportation, …if one wanted to go further, with that kind of thought. Some would, could even say, we do not even borrow these “things”. They are all illusions we made up, so are really our stuff anyway, as we are a part of that great mass of “stuffness” that is out there. So we can not borrow anything. Which all this comes down to is a state of mind, which is what I will need to change to adapt again.

Since my car has a malfunction I have been riding my bike. I have given up on a small scale the “attachment” to using the car to get around, at least for the moment. It has had certain benefits. Beside getting slowly back in better shape I feel a better sense of , hmmmm..nature awareness, the connection, the awe. The feel of the morning’s chilling mist on the ride to school. The Autumn splashes of colors in between the greens and browns of  the warmer climate foliage here in Cali. Running my fingers through patches of Lavender and Rosemary bushes to gather the scent on my hands and breathe in the sweetness. Invoking the memories of herbal field trips and laying in the grass surrounded by fennel.

So in accepting the temporary loss of my car, I have gained, ( there is that kung fu saying of Sisuks, sometimes when you lose , you win) more in the detachment than the small gains in the comfort of driving. In my detachment, I am helping not only my small world of me, but my large world of everything.  In the mind of Shaolin Chan, there is only us, there is no I.

We had our Berkeley Chan/Zen group meeting on Thursday night. I rode the BART ( train) over. I walked to the station, I walked to and from the station on my end and to the meeting place. The walk was pleasant again feeling more at one with my environment than flying past everything with my windows up, polluting, but gooveing to the beat from the box. Interestingly at the Zen session in our talk at the end of the meeting, the lesson of attachment manifested again to me. One of the group mentioned that his thoughts still came to him but he was able to control them and go back sooner to focus on his breath. He reminded me of something similar I once said to the Zen Master I meet in Japan about clearing the mind. Achieving a state of  “mind silence”. He said he cannot stop his own thoughts, the mind does, what it does. My lesson which became very clear in hearing this young man now speak about being able to quiet his thoughts. I shared this with the group: It is not that we strive to control the mind, it is more so that we strive to limted or control our attachment to the thoughts produced by the mind, which is just doing it’s thing.

Like life, the world, it is just doing it’s thing. it is our task to not become too attached to it’s thoughts. I had said something many posts back, about a weapon, a training aid I was trying out, invented by a classmate.  We, while training had told another classmate that the key to using the “aid” was staying connected, but not attached, not trying be so “in control”. Your freedom in the weapon, in the movement of the “aid” comes by following it’s nature and make where it went; where you wanted to be. Stay connected, but not attached.

“In the pursuit of learning
everyday something is acquired

In the pursuit of the Tao
everyday something is dropped.” …Tao Te Ching.




3 responses

8 12 2008
Rick Matz

Good post. It’s hard not to take what happens to us … personally.

A flower falls, even though we love it; and a weed grows, even though we do not love it. – Dogen

13 12 2008

Wow. What an excellent piece. We are going through some similar things right now so I can totally relate. Going through times like these really does make you realize how unnecessary many of our “necessary” items are. And yet I’d be lying if I said when things get better I wouldn’t be tempted to rebuild it all back.

13 12 2008
Dianna Harris

Hi Zen.

Thank you for being so open about your current financial situation and what you have been going through. Both my husband and are going through a very difficult time financially and have been for quite a while. I too struggle everyday (and many moments throughout each day) with attachment. Thank you for sharing your insights.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: