Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Back to Zen

A great Zen master once said:
Zen is to eat when you are hungry, drink when you are thirsty and sleep when you are sleepy…
Or something like that :)
So one might say “Hey, I can do that! Enlightenment after all is not that hard.”
But few realize that “simple” is the hardest thing to do.

Caught in the illusion of life few people realize the tangled web we have spawned.
Few realize that we have enslaved ourselves to the clock and the dollar.
Time and money determine when, what and how we eat, drink and sleep…
The truth is that we don’t run our lives; our lives run us!

I see a lot of “Buddhist” out on the net preaching the virtues of enlightenment.
I have never found one yet to practice what they preach.
Studying the wisdom of the scriptures is like studying the art of bicycling.
It means nothing until you get on the bicycle :)

Zen is the art of being free.
Free from the illusions of life.
Free from the desires of the material world.
Free from the tyranny of time and money.

It sounds so simple and so beautiful, doesn’t it?
You can almost feel the power, the freedom, and the infinite opportunities opening up.
To become the center of your lfe, the master of your destiny.
To be the source of your happiness and love.

…I have mastered the art of self centering.
I can reach inward for the energy, the love and the wisdom I need.
But some how I get scared and I ran back to the self pity and comfort of my own excuses.
...I thought it was my lack of faith in God that stops me from wining my freedom.
But lately I’ve been thinking that is the lack of faith in me that is the problem.

Some how I fear that there is not enough love, power and love in me.
I fear that I will “run out” of it, and find myself empty like some of the people I see around me;
– living like zombies on their medicated lives.
You know the fear I’m talking about?
Well, maybe you don’t.

But is it having that courage to be what you want to be.
To reach for your dreams with the conviction of your impending success.
To eat when you are hungry, drink when you are thirsty and sleep when you are sleepy…
It is that simple.
…I just have to stop complicating my life.
He, he, he…


YogaforCynics said...

I remember reading once (I think in "The Way of Zen" by Alan Watts) that Zen is not thinking about God while washing potatoes, but just washing the potatoes, and I've always liked that...

Talon said...

So true - we get bogged down in the details.

My Mom had a similar saying:

"Eat when you're hungry
Drink when you're dry
To bed when you're weary
To heaven when you die"

Life is simple. We complicate it.

Flight said...

I know what you mean. Its very difficult to live they way you choose and still have the respect of your family. Humans are like crabs , if you put a bunch of us in a pot you'll never have to use a lid , as soon as one reaches to top the others will pull them back down.
Believe it or not I actually dream of getting stranded some island cut off from every one , that and faking my death so I can live on my own terms . But hey I built this prison and only I can take it down. :)

This Brazen Teacher said...

A few years ago I went w a friend who is a photographer to see a Hobo Camp. Hobos choose to live wo a home, car, job. They travel from place to place performing odd jobs for money or food. They sleep in shelters or outdoors in the weather is nice.

The amazing thing: all but one had college educations. One was a PhD. They were clean, well spoken, and happy. It left an impression on me.

tikno said...

Conversely it's simple if we want to makes it simple.

Diego said...

The simplicity of zen is antithetical to the demand for 'multi-tasking' our western culture asks.

@ Flight - Ditto.

Buddha said...

@ Yoga for Cynics – I will never be a Zen master :(
(I hate washing potatoes!)

@ Talon – I love that little poem.
Your mother was a very wise woman.

@ Flight – It is true:
We build these walls around to protect us, and one day we wake up in the middle of a prison cell!

@ Brazen Teacher – Damn! I’ll never be a hobo either :(
(I don’t have a PhD!)

@ Tinko – As a wise man said once:
Whatever you believe; you can or you can not.
It is true!

@ Diego – I think the problem with the Western culture comes from the separation of man and nature.
Of trying to bring nature in submission rather than to live in harmony with nature.

Flight said...

I feel you on the hobo thing ... I can never afford to be homeless ,I owe too much.
I'm to f#*@in poor to be a hobo . May be I should start playing the lotto ?

Buddha said...

@ Flight - ROLF!
I literally burst into laughter.
Lucky for me I was not drinking anything at the time - it could have been life threatening.
If I ever make a best comment post - which I will eventually - that comment has to be a classic!