Monday, March 26, 2012
Page 164 in the Big Book: "The answers will come, if your own house is in order."
Page 84: "They will always materialize if we work for them."
Perhaps meditation is seeking answers to unasked questions. We sit with our koan, try to clear our minds of extraneous stories, and wait. For what are we waiting? I think it's clarity we wait for -- clarity is the answer.
Sitting with a Step and sitting with a koan is the path we are taking ... sitting brings us clarity, leading to happiness, joy, and freedom.
Is my house in order? Is my mind clear of anger, resentments and fear? Do my thoughts keep me away from what is happening right now? Housecleaning/mind-cleaning ...it's about letting go of our thoughts and coming back to the koan or back to the breath. This is all there is in this moment -- this koan -- this Step --this very breath. There's regular daily meditation. There's impromptu meditation during the day. This is how we work at it.
We're a nation of doers. Did your mother ever tell you, "Don't just sit there, do something?" Whenever I hear this I am reminded of Buddhist author Sylvia Boorstein and her book: "Don't Just Do Something, Sit There." Our life's answers "...will always materialize if we work for them." We do incredible work for ourselves through daily meditation. Just another example of how often my 12 Step practice reminds me of my koan practice -- and my koan practice reminds me of my 12 Step practice. Really now, they are but one practice.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
March means we sit with Step Three. In February, the koan to sit with was set in my mind, ready for all. The Universe stepped in and made a few changes, beginning a few weeks ago when I came to the notion that God's will for me was happening in this very moment. This a wrote about last time and am continuing today.
Step 3: "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him."
What is Zen?
Attention! Attention! Attention!
What is Zen? Another Zen community in our county has a newspaper ad which reads, Zen is Life! O.K.
I'm taking a shower. Posted on the wall inside a plastic bag reads a quote from Daniel Terrangno Roshi, "This is your life right now."
If Zen is life and my life is right now, and God's will appears as right now, then it seems
reasonable to say that Zen is God's will. Yes?
Koan transformed, this is what I offered to meditation last Friday:
A sponsee asks, "What is God's will?"
The sponsor replied, "Attention! Attention! Attention!
There were about 15 people that evening. I think everyone had something to add to the discussion. I could see how this "transformed" koan stirred up deep and reflective thoughts and experiences that these people have/had with Step Three. Our discussion was ever widened by the comments made about others' experiences.
We stayed perhaps a half hour longer this evening. By the end, it seemed to me that everyone left in an almost festive mood, full of LIFE. Full of Zen! Full of being in God's will!
P.S. The next day I received a telephone call from a friend who just couldn't make it on Friday. She was exhausted from you work schedule and chose to stay home instead. But she wanted me to tell her what the koan for the evening was. She wants to carry this koan with her this month.
This is how our 12 & Zen is working in people's lives!