The following is a guest post by Sara, a WiG member, written after practice on WEdnesday the 6th. My deep gratitude for her thoughts, her sincerity and her words:
t’s interesting what my mind does when my practice is uneven and my body a live-wire. For the past few days I couldn’t discern when my thoughts had wandered, and when I did notice, I just watched myself get wrapped up in the story, feeling no inclination to do anything about it. I watched, slightly disinterested, vaguely frozen behind a soap-bubble. Inevitably, the thought would arise: “Well, why don’t you DO something about this!?”
In the past I would have bristled up and sat up straight and found some gimmick to help me concentrate. But I simply didn’t FEEL like it this time. First I stuck my tongue out at that voice, and pranced about, smirking. Haha! I’m doing zen bad. Bad bad bad!! I felt an adolescent joy in watching my mind run the show, feeling that it was somehow “against the rules,” but feeling unmotivated to do anything about it.
But then, finding no will, no special trick of ‘being’, to alter the course of inner events, I began to play with the phenomenon. I started yelling at each thought as it arose, in a mock army seargent’s bellow: “What are you doing here, little thought?
Why are you here? WHAT do you want with me?”
The thoughts were so befuddled by this new form of interaction that they stopped dead in their tracks. Caught in the spotlight. “Well??” I demanded. They didn’t have any response. And then I realized I was yelling at paper dolls, at little wispy wind-o-the-wills, and they just rustled back at me. Finding nowhere to land, my fighting words just flew back at me and landed on my belly. I began to laugh. At myself, at the words, at my inner sargent, at the rustling underneath it all.
“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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