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Showing posts from December, 2010

Perfect Souls, Buddhist Answers, and The Great Pains in the Ass

My teacher has a great joke; when someone new joins the breakfast table, he urges us to give him a warm zen welcome, in which we all let our faces drop, avoid eye contact, and stare vacantly. Recently, after leaving the Zendo, he made an announcement that it's okay to make eye contact, and he'd really like us to do so when we bow together after practice.

Nathan, over at Dangerous Harvests, had a great post about the overwhelming permeation of Buddhist personas we've all encountered in temples, in philosophy circles, and, gasp, in ourselves. First, let's look at those aforementioned assholes and see if you've met or been the same.

In one stint, I was roommates with a guy who thought he was enlightened. His "enlightenment" was very visible. He took to sitting in our room in our off hours, stared in the dining room until his eyes glazed over, did prostrations on fields during work practice, and would smile insanely at you and say something clever whenever you …

Facing Suffering: If we turn one way we're not turning another.

What does the zen teacher mean when she says turn toward your suffering?
Yesterday, as I was riding my bike in Austin, TX, a car rolled into the street from a little oil change place. It hit two cars. There were two reactions.
Lady number 1 said, "What-the-fuck-is-going-on?"
Gentleman number 1 said, "No need to get hostile."
And lady number 1 went on to argue with an attendant, while gentleman 1 tried to calm her down. And I just kind of stood there with this feeling of wanting to turn away and almost let my bike roll into the car in front of me.
The yelling, the words, the tone, made me feel like I was back at school, the school I resigned from after 3 1/2 years and I recognized that's what I quit. I walked away from hostility that flipped my stomach on a daily basis (and I'm not talking about kids- kids gave more hugs than anything else). But was that turning away from life?
I liked to think of my job as a sesshin; I wouldn't just get up when ever I want…

My Life

I've thought about deleting this blog because I was embarrassed of some of the things I've wrote and some of the friends who can now see my mistakes whenever they want. I can delete the blog but I can't delete my life, so Ariel Pork is going to be here.
I have a strong urge to sweep things under the carpet, to keep my hair cut and to stand up straight (and never move during zazen). But I'm going to resist.
Maybe instead I'll drag everything out to the front lawn and sell stuff off a blanket, let my hair get long, while I'm hunched over a daiquiri.
Or maybe I'll do nothing but just sit with it.