Return

“Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week.” – Anonymous

I returned to the zendo today for the first time in a month. I had been meditating daily since Monday, and figured this wouldbe a good time to go back. Of course it was blistering cold outside and the sidewalks were littered with slippery ice. I still trudged onward because I knew that the benefit was greater than the cost.

Before, I used to fret about the opportunity cost of time or whether I was really getting anything out of going to the zendo. I would end up not going and find myself loafing around on the computer for hours on end. Now, I feel like I actually did something with my day.

Before I left, I was reading Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art, which gave me motivation.

The sitting was HARD because I hadn’t been there in forever, and my practice at home is only for 20 minutes as opposed to two sittings for 30 minutes. At times, I tried to keep my thoughts from racing. Other times, I simply tried to let go and let them pass. Both gave me the same measure of success.

Afterward, we learned about a man named Kuike who was the credited with bringing Zen Buddhism to China. We are reading the Transmission of Light, which are short stories about the first fifty-three Zen Masters in chronological order.

I enjoyed the story told today about Kuike, a man who was first rejected by the Bodhidharma, but later accepted after he cut off his own arm. Bodhidharma stressed that having an attachment to the body is not desired, and thus Kuike was well on his way to enlightenment.

Kuike was later executed by his government, wrongly accused by an overzealous monk, much in the way Jesus was.

All in all, I am glad I went, and look forward to keeping up with this habit on a weekly basis.

***

Going back to The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, the beginning pages speak of an interesting concept called Resistance.

He says that we all, as humans, have two kinds of lives. The Unlived Life (our potential), and the life that we are actually living. In the middle is Resistance. Pressfield personifies Resistance, calling it evil, and entity that much be fought at all costs. We know that we have succumbed to Resistance when we think about not doing something that we feel that we should do and anxiety or unhappiness begin to manifest themselves.

I haven’t read past Book One, but maybe I’ll talk about it a little more as I get further into the book.

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