2009 December 09
After a few months of playing with various formats, I’m getting a sense of what is evolving. At the structural level, I’ve fallen into a rhythm of a Monday post that touches some facet of practice. The rest of the week unfolds in an exploration of that practice. At the emotional level, the posts hopefully are meditative. It helps me in my own practice to read or hear words that nourish and excite my love for the Dharma. Sometimes, I’ve written about personal joys and struggles. Sometimes, I’ve written little and let the teacher’s words stand unsullied by my limited understanding. The challenge is in feeling free to let whatever surfaces manifest itself even if it’s outside the structure. I’m mindful not to be so structured that this becomes an artificial exploration. A long time ago I was inspired by an article by psychologist Paul Meehl that called for the social sciences to take more courageous theoretical risks and not hide behind statistical tests of significance. I can see how easy it would be to hold close to the teachers’ (now dead) words and avoid the truly risky explorations of what Rumi calls “this being human“. I would hate to miss the call to engage in my own experience of what it means to be living here, now.
Regardless of my own aspirations, I hope the posts are nourishing for your practice. May there be a word, a sense, a picture that opens up the path a little bit so we can walk it with ease.
2009 September 17
Books. The house is filled with books. Not all are books on Zen. Not even most are books about Zen. Of the ones that are about Zen, not all have been read. Yet all the books about Zen in the house have been teachers at one time or another. And they all teach only one thing: tasting what has been cooked.
Zen books are like recipe books but even better. There’s no measuring, weighing, chopping, or timing. There is just cooking and tasting.
I would like to share the tastiness from some of these cookbooks. Hopefully we can savor the flavors of different chefs and enjoy cooking together.