Sunday, January 16, 2011

Beginner's Mind, Beginner's Practice

When I first joined my sangha I felt that I knew something about something. I have come to the realization now that I know nothing about nothing. Not a bad thing, maybe a humbling thing, but at any rate, just a thing.

For years my practice has included various Buddhist readings (from all paths and authors, from Aitken to Warner), listening to podcasts and maintaining varying levels of commitment to sitting. However, it would seem that I have maintained the practice of a hermit. Now being exposed to other's practice, one thing that has become immediately apparent is that I had the tendency to leave my 'Zen' on the zafu.

As my practice deepens I have found that Zen is in everything and everywhere. Each moment is an opportunity to practice. Each blessing and hardship is an opportunity to grow, yet without a goal in mind. In the end I still find zazen to be my complete practice in itself, but carrying it away from the zafu has proved both challenging and rewarding, for this I am grateful.

Without anyplace to be but here, without anywhere to be but now.