Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The Silliest Spiritual Game in Town

On occasion, Zen practice can give you what appears to be a real kick in the teeth. There are times when the whole game of it drops away and not only do you know it to be pointless, you feel that it is pointless. Absolutely pointless. This leaves you feeling like you are in freefall: one moment you had the Zen game with the sitting and the robes and whatnot, and then you realise that this patch of corporeality that you are pleased to call your body will one day cease operations and you will be dead, and there's absolutely nothing to be done about it. I was grumbling to myself that I don't have a teacher, and that I'd never be able to sew a raksusu in order to take the Bodhisattva Vow and on it went, a real outpouring of sorrow for myself. Then a thought occurred: what difference would a teacher, even the most famous, fierce and accomplished Zen type you could think of, what difference would they make? I'd still sit on my cushion. I'd still have to sew that f***ing rakusu. I'd still, to put it bluntly, have to die my own death. Ha.
Of course, we still like to play the game: I like the Zen game. I like the ritual, I like pretending that I'm connected with something venerable and deep. I like taking myself off to zazen and spending my evening sitting for nothing. I could do other, similar things: I could do vipassana, Insight or Shambhala, one of those modern Buddhisms which seems keen on meditation or Buddhism being a journey or a purification or something. But they don't seem to have the silliness, and I like silliness of the gravest, ancient and most serious sort.

1 comment:

Isa Kocher said...

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