Since I started sitting with PZI, and to be truthful, thanks to a friend's blatant disregard for US copyrights vis a vis MP3s of some of John's sesshin talks, about a year before, I have been hearing John Tarramt describing the vast spaciousness, or at least increased spaciousness, that comes from sitting. [For those interested, I receive a small royalty for the number of commas I can use per sentence. Back to our regularly scheduled programming...] . I won't say result since Zen is not supposed to be goal oriented. Unless it is, but I digress.
At any rate, its been repeated so much I stopped thinking of it, but always love to hear John pronounce that word. It has a soothing effect on me not unlike hearing the word "weekend", or "peaceful", or, in certain contexts "opening day". John too seemed and seems to favor pronouncing the word and I can tell that it represents great happiness for him. The spaciousness, not the pronouncement. For some time, without realizing it, I had associated the concept with a silence of thoughts- somewhat that bleary wiggy meditation high one can sometimes wander into, unless one is trying to create the effect of zen-ed out blissfullness in which case it can be created somewhat reliably. That place where you just go "mmmmmmmm" and there are no thoughts rippling the quiet pool of our mind. That is what I thought, this spaciousness was meant to represent. Now I am not so sure. Actually, I am pretty sure I was wrong, but I am willing to be wrong on even that.
Sitting lately has been interesting. I have been imagining that my sitting has hit a flat place. I lacked the vigor and enthusiasm for sitting as I sometimes have. I kept sitting of course, and somewhere in there it appeared to me that this was it too, that what I have been experiences as flatness is in fact the shattering of a certain delusion that meditation would be different or that I would be different or better. I was thrown off my the fact that such an implosion was utterly silent.
So there I have been, hanging out with me, accepting that that is not going to be hammered into some odd notion of better or different and in fact kind of wondering where i got the idea that this needed hammering, when I noticed a spaciousness in my mind. Not one fewer thought, really, but kind of looking around and realizing how roomy it is in there. Where previously thoughts had been eating up nearly all my mind's eye, I started to notice, at least sometimes, that those thoughts, and my reactions to them, really only take up a very small amount of real estate. And when you see its just one tenant, its hard to get too caught up in them. Or harder. Sometimes at least. So that's the spaciousness I have found. Its not that my thoughts have become smaller or quieter, its just that my awareness has become larger.
Or that is how it feels to me.
“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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