30 – zen wish

Having a super hard time of it. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Why am I so ungrateful? My parents are wonderful. And yet having guests makes me crazy. I need my “alone time” too much. With the kids around, it’s different, they are kids. With my parents, I keep expecting them to act like… I don’t know what! But not dependents. Which isn’t fair I guess.

I’m a huge complainer. It’s brutal! I feel wanted from all sides. In writing that paragraph I’ve had two interruptions.

I don’t feel like drinking. The thought did not cross my mind till I remembered I’m writing a sobriety blog post here. But I wish I could escape my life momentarily, yet not miss any of it; completely disappear into a timeless orb for 12 hours straight. What would I do? Lie in a soft-starred black chrysalis, as though floating in a universal bath. All I would do is breathe. With the knowledge I would never be interrupted…

I just wanted to document that.

On that note…

I was thinking about journalling vs blogging. Now that I have blogging addiction, I miss the beauty and epiphany-filled joy of journalling. But I will say… there is something about blogging that makes it easier to re-read my own journey.

When readers (you!) like or comment on older posts, for example, that triggers a memory of those older posts, and of the stage I was at when I wrote them.

It’s really interesting to see the journey marked. Awful, sometimes, because I have waves of self-disparagement… but there are some hand-holds there, which I could climb.

True, genuine support of others — support that is unselfishly motivated — it gives a feeling akin to that universal bath. I’m grateful for that.

A nun said that to a group of people at a buddhist monastery, at a retreat I once attended with the kids; she said:

“We thank you for coming here, for spending your precious vacation time choosing to learn to live mindfully. Yes, there is no sea here, there is no pool; no place to bathe. So to many, it is not a desirable vacation destination. But when you come here, remember, you are bathing in the sangha.”

(“Sangha,” as you may already know, is the buddhist word for “like-minded community.”)

And yes, I felt that, I really did… I felt “bathed” there. Cradled and supported and spiritually washed clean.

But unlike me, whenever I have guests, the monastics had a plan and a schedule and they stuck to it. We, the thousand lay people of all ages, were gently asked to conform.

I imagine they must have been so annoyed with our awkward loudness, mindlessness, lack of “fine manners” in the zen buddhist traditions. Late for qigong at dawn, whispering during meals, taking far too much food, staying up past the evening bell. Our too-bright clothes, our too-many things.

But they smiled peacefully, tried to make it work. They went to bed on time. Most of all, they made time to “sit beautifully.” Back straight, legs folded, hands relaxed, heart open.

This is how they taught us, through their own actions, to be. Silent, and rooted, and soaring, as a tree.

The bell, which was also like a bath. The bell would ring through every fibre of my being. I never felt so high as then.

What a gift they showed us, lent out to us, invited us into —

I wish I could be as them





One thought on “30 – zen wish

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.