Monday, January 14, 2013

Something Better Happen Or I'm Cooked!

The responses to the goose in the bottle koan and Step One (see prior post) were quite varied and well received last Friday in our small group discussion.  During the time we were meditating with both Step 1 and the koan, I threw out several questions:

This koan is about you.
At any time, are you the woman?
Are you the goose?
Are you the bottle?

Here is a response from Sheila F. I'd like to share with you.

"i had my own awakening around the koan that i wanted to share with you:

at first, i didn't identify with any parts of the koan, not the woman, not the goose, not the bottle.
however, the word "want" struck me very strongly, and i did identify with that.  it occurred to me that it is the "wanting" that creates the hardship and suffering in my life.  wanting the impossible, like a goose to get out of a bottle.  it is my ceasing wanting that i am free.

then as i sat with the koan longer, it came to me that the it represented the stages of my drinking:
at first, drinking was "fun" and kind of okay, like a small goose in a bottle i suppose.  sort of manageable.

then my drinking became "fun with trouble" and i see that like feeding the goose that is getting bigger in a bottle.  at some point if i had been able to stop, perhaps i still could have gotten the goose out of the bottle before it got too big.

then, for the most of my drinking career, it was not fun, it was just "trouble."  i was cooked.  there was no getting the goose out of the bottle.  end of game. story over.  i had to accept that fact, that i could no longer drink ever again at all in any way shape or form.  and my wanting to drinking like a normal person was like wanting to get a goose out of a bottle.  would never happen.  so i had to give up wanting the impossible and come to the truth of my experience. accept it in my innermost self.

what a great lesson to work with! thank you so much."

I had a different response to this koan.  It was the day after we sat that this came to me...What if God is the woman?  Certainly God or the Universe has given me everything I need to be raised well and  to live well.  I am the goose, happily thriving in a bottle that at one time was oblivious to me.  The bottle became my disease.  It was when in my life I knew I had a problem that, as Sheila writes, "I was cooked."  My disease was what was restricting me from my true self and from really living my life, and being aware of my surroundings.

But when I really admitted I had a problem and proceeded with the Steps, low and behold, the bottle disappeared! Just another example of how koans work.  As Sensei Deb Saint said, "Koans shine a light in the places that need it."  And from the Grapevine Quote of the Day, January 9, 2013, "The Steps will speak to my condition wherever I am in sobriety."  (Riverside, Ill., August 1977, From "Turning On the Power" Spiritual Awakenings).  Our Steps work on us very much the same way koans do.

What a great day it is to carry my koans with me.

Bill K.

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