See more articles, reviews, fiction and poetry, including more of my writings, at group blog PLUTO'S REALM.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Begin Again, Every Moment


Yesterday was my 51st birthday; I've just begun my 52nd year of life. There's nothing that significant about 51; it's just another in a long line of anniversaries I never thought I'd see, when I was younger.

50, of course, was significant; last year, it was for me, a very relaxing event, the unexpected entry into a stage of life in which I'm much more comfortable in my own skin. Or maybe it was my Zen practice; that and my life are inseparable, at this point.

For those of you who have been following, I'm more comfortable in my new job, as of yesterday -- realizing that I may be in a better position than some, with the economy long gone South. So really for me, it's just time to relax, take a deep breath, and surf existence.

And thanks again, to the men and women of the Nashville Zen Center, and to Abbott Michael Elliston of the Atlanta Soto Zen Center, for another redeeming weekend. When everything else seems to be falling apart, I now at last have a sangha to keep my energies up and my faith in myself renewed, which is something I never had before. And I'm proud of us; the NZC was a collapsing structure on a path with no heart when I walked into it four years ago. Now it's found direction, some much-needed new blood, and enough minds with a common focus to be something worth fighting for. What was one of many nest of Bullshit Buddhism has become (with some flaws and reversions, warts and all) a place and a resource for those who truly want to accept reality. I am at last able, with some degree of comfort, to direct those seeking a softer way, and an assurance that they will have eternal live in some eternal, compassionate, mindful Bodhisattva moment -- elsewhere.

No more Nashville Buddhist Festival bullshit. This is it. You've hit the wall, the final moment. No softly mumbling Teacher is gonna save you now. Grab your ass with both hands and hold on.

I am reassured by the national elections. Even if we go down the tubes, having saner hands at the controls, is better. It appears to me that Obama is a bit soft on the appeasement of traitors -- the Bush people need to be prosecuted, Joe Lieberman needs to be on the street. But we'll see. If this country ever needed a purge...

And I'm relaxing into aspects of myself that I never knew existed. Zen (and hence, life) is not about changing oneself into some idealized version. The teachers who will hold that carrot out to you are liars. Zen and life are about Zen and life -- right here, right now, as it is. Deal with it.

I've also managed to scrape some very shallow people off my shoe. Big loss. New flash: If someone who pretends to be your friend terminates your friendship because they don't share your opinions, they were never your friend. You were being used, for something. Let them go.

By the way, the pic above is of the ASZC Abbot, Michael Elliston, showing me how to wear a robe. Hmmmmm.....

1 comment:

teri said...

Happy Birthday!