Sunday, August 16, 2015

Where are you going?

This month, instead of sitting with one particular Step, we sat with all twelve Steps and this koan.  I wonder what Step(s) will resonate for you?

Koan: Where are you going?

The first five minutes, we sat with this.  Then I read the full koan story:

Zen teachers train their young pupils to express themselves. Two Zen temples each had a child protege. One child, going to obtain vegetables each morning, would meet the other on the way.

"Where are you going?" asked the one.

"I am going wherever my feet go," the other responded.

This reply puzzled the first child who went to his teacher for help. "Tomorrow morning," the teacher told him, "when you meet that little fellow, ask him the same question. He will give you the same answer, and then you ask him: 'Suppose you have no feet, then where are you going?' That will fix him."

The children met again the following morning.

"Where are you going?" asked the first child.

"I am going wherever the wind blows," answered the other.
This again nonplussed the youngster, who took his defeat to the teacher.

Ask him where he is going if there is no wind," suggested the teacher.

The next day the children met a third time.

"Where are you going?" asked the first child.

"I am going to the market to buy vegetables," the other replied.

Roger:  I think the cumulative effect of the Steps provide three things; to diminish ego, to connect to Spirit, and to live in the present moment.  Tonight, no single Step came to me.

I’m a “on-the-go” kind of person, going places and doing things all day long.  This koan posed a different question for me.  What if I’m not going anywhere?  Just being…being in the moment.

Elsie: Part of my daily ritual is to ask myself, Who am I, What am I, and Where am I going? So this koan is comfortable for me.  I’m also a busy person and miss the peace in the moment.  I rush too much.  A teacher once said to me, “The small things I tell myself are the big things that are barely there.”  Step 8 came to me this evening, as I attempt to tell myself that I’m going to become willing to be at peace, to stop rushing matters.

Dale:  I start my day recognizing that I’m on a path.  Breathing in and out, taking a moment to consider where I’ll be going.  Not a shopping list, but more like I’ll be going to a meeting, I may drop by that store, my sponsee will be coming by, etc.  Steps 3 and 11 came to me this evening.  I’ll be going where my Higher Power wants me to go is the Step 3 part.  In Step 11 it begins with “Upon awakening…,”  we think of our day, we think of where we may be going.

The longer version of this koan seemed to set the tone of where I went this evening.  The one boy replied, “I’m going wherever my feet go.”  A perplexing answer, it morphed into, I’m going to consider all the Steps tonight.  This became a circular room with 12 doors, each door numbered with a Step.

“I’m going wherever the wind blows,” was another answer.  Perhaps I’ll be blown into one or more of the rooms.  Sitting, sitting, some doors seemed ajar while others remained closed. Then the Step 12 door flung open.  I was blown inside.  That’s where I went.

“Having had a spiritual awakening …” this is my starting point. Before one goes to somewhere, one has to come from somewhere.  What a great place to start, spiritually awakened! And where am I going?  I’m going “to carry this message to alcoholics...” That’s not all – I’m going “to practice these principles in all [my] affairs.”

The second boy’s final response, “I’m going to the market to buy vegetables.”  I’ve worked Step 12 and now it’s working me, providing me with a sack-full of benefits.

Bill K.