Saturday, October 12, 2013

Step 10: Lost and Found

Step 10:  Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

Koan:  A student asked Yunmen, "What does it mean to sit and contemplate reality?"

Yunmen answered, "The coin lost in the river is found in the river."

We held our October 12 & Zen yesterday evening, sitting with this koan.  Fifteen people in all, this was one of those times when almost everyone had something to say -- 14 of the 15 people seemed to have 14 different interpretations of the koan.  But still on topic.

The coin -- it is what we are seeking, it's our emotions, who we are....?

Lost -- in our thoughts, not in contact with our Higher Power, lost in self ....?

Found -- our path again, what is happening right here and now, what to do next....?

And the river -- the river of life, the river as God ....?

Step 10:  We go from being lost in self to finding what it is.

This koan brought up a 10th Step episode of mine.  I was called on something and did I lose it... from pleasant to angry in milliseconds. Boy did I give this fellow a piece of my mind.  But as I walked away, I new I was in the wrong.  That was the old Bill talking.  I knew what I had to do to bring some peace of mind back into my life.  I  spun around (I think he first thought I was returning to fight or something) and the first words out of my mouth were, "Please forgive me..."  I made my amends, we shook hands, and I instantly felt better.  I found serenity again.  Funny how one can still feel a little discomfort for what was said or done; but after making amends can have some serenity, too, knowing that you won't be carrying around a grudge with you for the rest of the day.

As you can see, on many levels and directions, the people took well to this koan.  Or was it the koan that took well to us? One person came up to me afterwards and exclaimed how "this" 12 & Zen evening was the best she had ever experienced.

The evening did seem to have a momentum to it.  What struck me most was that five or six people were new.  They had little if any experience with koans.  Why should I be surprised ...these koans work in our lives when we let them in.

Please sit with this Step and koan for a while.  See what comes up for you.  How did the koan touch you?  And then if you'd like, take a look at what my teacher, John Tarrant, had to say about Lost and Found:

Bill K.