It's been a couple lifetimes. I'll start in the now.
I'm staying at Austin Zen Center until July 11th. I've found a new teacher, and I couldn't feel more at home. It's a completely different student-teacher relationship, one with more talking- one with more love- and I don't mind getting used to it. I'm going to try and stay away from a compare and contrast view. I could do that for the rest of my life, and all of it's so obvious in my mind- the first thing that comes up. I'm Kosho's student now, and were in the Suzuki lineage. I've got a lot to learn (or un-learn?).
The sangha is so open hearted and talkative. Lots of questions! Usually they start with how did you come to Austin, followed by how did you start practicing Zen?
Beginning, middles, and ends can be tricky. On one day, the beginning is five inches to the left of middle, and on others, it's 10 feet away. Sometimes I see my entrance into Buddhism as the day I started reading Siddhartha when I was 18, some days it's when I started meditating in martial arts, some days it's when I officially sat Zazen 6 or 7 years ago, and some days it when I first went to a Zen temple for traditional zen training. But when did I notice my way seeking mind?
I want to go way back to a dark and boggy place, in a galaxy far, far, away. I was 6. This was before I took first holy communion, before confirmation, before my stints with pentecosts and Jehovah Witnesses...All master Yoda had to say was, "Luminous beings are we... not this crude matter." and I opened my eyes. I couldn't see anything, but I started looking around.
This I would consider 30 feet from the center. I wonder if underneath it all I just want to be a Jedi. But, I think just like everyone's reason to come to practice, it's just a seed. When we sit Zazen, we have no idea what were watering, but just because we can't see the flower, doesn't mean we let the seed die.
I think we just like to garden. Hear water, feel dirt, that sort of thing.