Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Zen of Not Sleeping Well

I can nap anywhere
Living without a conception of yourself - as it relates to your health and ability -

and also without ideas of how things ought to be, what you are entitled to

and not holding your plans and desires too tightly

and relinquishing your belief that you can, or could, control what happens to you (such as a good night's sleep)

but getting to notice that your stomach can't put away a certain family problem, and is reacting.  Strongly.
More thoughts this evening - I saw the same thing at the end of my mother's life - she clung more desperately to her delusions. About her husband, their history, herself, her kids, the bartender.  It's sad how much pain she caused, and how she suffered.

That's another thing to let go of, your anger when you see someone's stubborn delusions ripple out from them to cause pain to everyone caught in their wake.

So here is the thing - the search for enlightenment as bliss is the wrong emphasis.  We should be working and praying to get over our delusions.  To live in the world as it is.

(And in that world, sometimes you just don't sleep well, and that's a fact.) 


  1. Just what I needed to hear tonight.

  2. First few lines -- SO true, SO unbelieveably difficult for me.

  3. Melanie, Austin Zen CenterJuly 27, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    Yes! This morning after zazen at the Austin Zen Center, the quotation we heard about work just before the very brief period of soji (temple cleaning) was from Suzuki Roshi. A student tells S. Roshi about an experience of dissolving into spaciousness during meditation. Suzuki replies that Yes, you could call this enlightenment, but " to forget about it. And how is your work coming?" And how about the work of getting over our/my delusions?! It seems the longer I go, the more I see my arrogance, judgmental reflexes, pettiness, etc., as well as the good-girl/serene/benevolent/caring image I carry around. Best to keep practicing!

  4. Thank you both for writing. Melanie, what you touch on is something that deserves more attention - how the path means we see our own behavior and reactions, past and present, more clearly as we go. And half the time, it's not fun. I've seen many people work the path for a while, then drop out, maybe when that clarity kicks in. That's the moment when a teacher can be so helpful in reassuring us, Yes, that's the way this goes.

  5. Lisa - It is difficult. That's why I was journaling that for myself, just thinking about it. It helps me to hear from others that they share these feelings. It occurs to me just now that there's a saying that can be applied to the Buddha Way - If it was easy, everyone would do it.