Wow, my creativity is about at an all time lull. Sorry about the title. Its neither interesting nor transparent. Just sort of a collection of words.
Well, welcome to my burnout. Fortunately WiG is an endless source of rejuvenation. Every week I think it won't be and then it is. So I don't argue anymore. I just get there, sit down and wait for it all to drop.
The game last week was fairy mellow by my standards. It didn't involve anything tricky, but then again,its people, not the games,which are complex.
We sat, and this koan was spoken into the room.
A monk asked an old woman, “What is the way to Mount Tai?”
The old woman said, “Go straight ahead.”
When the monk had proceeded a few steps, she said, “A good respectable monk, but he too goes off like that.”
When Zhaozhou heard about this, he said, “Hold on! I’ll go and investigate that old woman thoroughly for you.”
Next day, Zhaozhou went and asked her the same question, and she replied in the same way. He returned and announced to his assembly, “I have investigated and seen through that old woman of Mount Tai for you.”So, thats about as clear as mud. Which is fine. There is actually a tremendous amount of clarity in mud once you stop trying to see through it and just let it be muddy.instead, the group was asked, "Name your most recent self- improvement project"We went around: Getting to bed by 10, lowering Cholesterol levels, writing more songs, being more organized, singing again, not trying to improve anymore, learning to listen to loved ones. Then we rang the bell and sat for a bit. The question was asked: Imagine completely that you have achieved your goal. How does that change things?Many people noticed how quickly their mind turned to the next self improvement project. Others noticed relief. Some how their minds went to planning. Everyone noticed an expectation of happiness.After we had gone around, we sat again briefly. This time, everyone was asked to imagine that they would never achieve that goal. That they would never improve. That pursuing it was futile.
Interestingly, people reported feeling free. Expansive. They noticed how they minds stopped looking for the next goal and yet they felt confident that their life would continue to move in the right direction. There was som fear to, about letting go and that it might be bad for them. The explaination here is a little thin tonight. C is teething. My nerves are frayed. Goodnight.
“A Course on Koans” is the delusion-riddled work of Chris Kufu (“Wind in the Void”) Wilson, who began practicing Zen in 1967. He regards Taizan Maezumi, Robert Aitken, and David Weinstein as his root teachers. Each of them pecked at his shell until he “completed” the never-ending koan curriculum of the Harada-Yasutani lineage.
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