Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sick, and Tired of it, With Comments on the Spiritual Path

I was reminded this morning of what took me from trying out all kinds of Buddhist practice to focusing on Zen - I met a Teacher.  Then I met another one.

Both these men, Daniel Terragno and Ama Samy, come to Grailville in Ohio once a year from far places to hold retreats, and snagged me on my very first retreats.  I've also met another Zen Teacher, James Ford, a unique Unitarian minister, and corresponded with a few others.  Now I am gratefully undertaking to practice "distantly" with Dosho Port of Wild Fox Zen, who is extending himself to work with us solitary and destitute types via internet methods. 

Every single one of these people has treated me with the attention you would give to the most important person on earth.  Their attitude is not just about the calmness and general slowing-down that we gradually learn through zazen.  It's about the practice of open-heartedness.  You can think of it as treating everything and every little yellow buttercup as sacred.  Or you can think of it as kindness.

I thought about this watching one of Dosho Roshi's videos this morning, in which he explains the above.  It is not at all abstract to me.  I have been so ill for so long here (see previous posts), and it is frustrating to wait for phone calls from the nurse, the doctor, home health.  It is easy to get resentful of friends who are too busy to offer some homemade soup (see cartoon above).  It is easy to feel entitled to inflict on others the occasional crankiness natural to this situation.
That crankiness comes from animal nature, perhaps, but the Eight-fold Path asks me to refrain from expressing it in harmful ways.  And it reminds me that I am actually not the center of other people's universe.  Jeez.  That I am no more sacred than everyone else.  That we are all seeking happiness.  Even poor Tardar Sauce (above), the cat who looked grumpy from birth.  And maybe was and is, I don't know.  I love him (her?) anyway.


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    1. I haven't been able to get to that using the above link. ?