måndag 30 augusti 2010

When life hits you in the face...


What do you do when life hits you in the face?
What do you when your old mum is dying, your child is resisting, your wife/husband leaves you,  life is acting crazy or your computer had enough?

There has been many things said about this, and a great many books written on the topic.
Some of them are good, some...
But i like to say some things in the subject to.

First of all, the thing we are talking about here is Dukkha and samsara.
I am not a Zen teacher and only in training as a priest, and as such is not to be viewed as an authority of any sort but Dukkha is sometimes interpreted as impermanence, change, suffering and it derives from a word often interpreted as uneasy.
I kinda like the word uneasy in this situation, it goes along the lines i'm talking about now.
Thats what it's all about.

Why do we feel it to be uneasy?
It's because we want something to be different than it is.
Even though we see it as it is, we interpret it as something else, and as something as we do not want or want it to be.
I often explain it as a "wheel that is out of focus", as a "wheel with the axis not in the middle but out towards one side", so that it wobbles forward.
That means it goes at a little different "speeds" when it rolls forward...
We are "suffering" because we want it to go smoothly at the same speed all the time, which it doesn't, and therefore creates an un-smoothness.

So, What do you do when life hits you in the face?
Some say "nothing!"
Some say "Sit with it!"
Some say "It's all good practice."
But it doesn't matter what people say, it matters what YOU DO.
And as long as you do as good as you can in the situation at hand with the righ intention, you are, according to me, not so far off.

In the Garland sutra, buddha supposedly says this
I should be like the sun, shining universally on all without seeking thanks or reward, able to take care of all sentient beings even if they are bad, never giving up on my vows on this account, not abandoning all sentient beings because one sentient being is evil.
This shows to the right intent, doing something for the sake at hand, not for getting some credit.
And in some sense it says "love your enemy".
No matter what it is, love your enemy.

I would like to end with a story about what to do with people that is not as everyone wants.
When Bankei held his seclusion-weeks of meditation, pupils from many parts of Japan came to attend. During one of these gatherings a pupil was caught stealing. The matter was reported to Bankei with the request that the culprit be expelled. Bankei ignored the case.
Later the pupil was caught in a similar act, and again Bankei disregarded the matter. This angered the other pupils, who drew up a petition asking for the dismissal of the thief, stating that otherwise they would leave in a body.
When Bankei had read the petition he called everyone before him. "You are wise brothers," he told them. "You know what is right and what is not right. You may go somewhere else to study if you wish, but this poor brother does not even know right from wrong. Who will teach him if I do not? I am going to keep him here even if all the rest of you leave."
A torrent of tears cleansed the face of the brother who had stolen. All desire to steal had vanished.
It's never easy to deal with people.
Especially people who don't do as they should or as you think they should do.
But in the end, if you just "do as good as you can" and "love your enemy", your not to far off in your practice.

Thank you for your practice.

May the force be with you

2 kommentarer:

  1. Life does strike at me now and then, as it has recently, it is hard not to strike back.
    I do this time allow my clenched fist to soften, and fingers to straighten.
    Thanks for this post.
    Gassho ~ Dave C. / Dday

  2. I wonder though even if "to do" can also risk being a way of avoiding the unease ?