Thursday, February 5, 2009

7th step work

After compiling a list of character defects, I am now bound to turn these over to my higher power for removal.

That’s complicated for a Zen Buddhist.

The simple part was identifying that as long as my higher power isn’t me, I’m nearer to conscious contact. And I do believe. I’m not sure what God looks like, but I think it’s manifested in the three treasures. When I think of God, I think of prostrations to all beings in the ten directions. When I feel conscious contact, it’s the opposite feeling of when I feel less than, feel damaged. I feel God when I feel loved out of the blue. Love has a lot to do with why I practice Zen. The ability to feel love has been a merit I hesitate to reveal, lest it vanish in my pursuit.

So there is an A.A prayer that doesn’t seem to work. And then I live in a temple and have a whole room that seems suitable for this task. But I guess I’m having a hard time in asking for something I don’t believe can happen. I can make the leap and believe in a “God” but to think that I can be rid of character defects? It feels sacrilegious. There is nothing to gain, so therefore nothing to pursue. But what about to lose?

Insides are outsides, outsides are insides. As much as I won’t be able to keep every minute of drama out of my life, I won’t be able to “remove” defects.

How about “observe” behaviors?

Dear God, please let me observe my behaviors. And…not fixate on them.

This isn’t something Robert would want to talk about. He was an A.A for 7 years, met Deshimaru and started drinking again. No wonder I ended up in this temple.

I think I’ll try telepathy. I’ll stare at a church, a cross, or the alter in our zendo, and I’ll stare these things away.

I do love the pali refuge chant, preceded by confessing karma.
I think I’ll invent a ceremony. It will start with the confession chant, end with prostrations, and in-between will be incense and silent gut-spilling.


  1. "I" won't be able to remove?

    Please God, help me observe my behaviors.

  2. You found me for a reason and I found you now.
    Going on to start your blog at the beginning.

    I hope to hear from you.

  4. Even when I was a Christian, I didn't believe God would interfere with his own laws to give little me what I wanted. A way I can see this step, though, is to think of how important it is to develop bodhicitta, the fervent desire for awakening. It's the prerequisite. Once the desire is tapped, we tend to follow our path.