Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"when you are thirsty, keep moving."

"The universe will conspire for your enlightenment. Everything you need for your enlightenment is RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW. Zen is meant for anyone who has the courage to face it. Upaya--be with the people you're with and tell them what they can hear. Don't say what they cannot hear, you cannot force depth. When you speak, speak what can be heard. By giving someone the answer only, it is not helping them. Everything is Buddha nature if you can open your eyes to see it. Essential nature is revealed through something natural. You will see it when your eyes are ready; you will hear when your ears are ready. Everything you need comes to you naturally. You don't wash away pain and suffering when you eliminate dukkha, you embrace it. Everything is here for us to grow. Doors open if you're deep. The more you're afraid, the less they will open. We grow in the bad shit. But you need to know your own roots. People should shift mountains if they need to, but know where you come from. Don't pick up your bow because you are told to; do it because you choose to. When you have a shadow, you're not willing to admit it, so we project it out upon others. Own all of your feelings. Socialization causes you to lose your authentic swing. Everybody has kairos time, but not everyone can access it, so it's just...there. But authentic conversation transcends chronos. Try to live consciously in kairos. Be authentic. Most people don't see the field. Don't attack life; you are ultimately part of a greater whole. Do what you need to do and move on. The field is always changing. Life will ask different things in different places. What swing works for today? We are afraid to see our best self, but if you could see the person you could become...that's scary. Step through the panic, work through the fear. Real friendships contain tension (for growth). Play the game together. Experience the Dark Night of the Soul--the world becomes overwhelming and you want to give up. Come to term with the baggage, 'help me help you' and move to a deeper level. 'To love someone is to love someone at their nethermost beast.' Recognize that some things need to be preserved and some destroyed. You have no control over that. We are habitual people because of memories. Satya-graha: be truthful. Nish kama karma: work against self. We lie because it's better for us. Are you going to dedicate your life to making the world a better place? Or are you going to live in the system for its benefits? You are who you choose to be, so choose to grow. Zen: absolute faith, absolute doubt, absolute perseverance."

"Inside each and every one of us is our one, true authentic swing. Something
we was born with. Something that's ours and ours alone. Something that can't be learned...
something that's got to be remembered." -The Leggend of Bagger Vance
The above is a mesh of notes between November 2005 and February 2006. I was 16 years old and was done dipping my toes into the tepid waters of Cheever's class; I had thrown myself into the water and was practically drowning. By May 2006, I finally started learning how to swim. A year later, May 2007, at the end of my two years of study, I had learned how to breathe underwater for a spell.

And then I forgot and moved 300 miles south with my notes and books in hand. Over the past four years, not only did I forget how to breathe underwater, I forgot how to swim altogether. When I found myself forgetting, I would pull out the life jacket and float for a bit until I thought I was ready again to swim.

As I peruse these two binders full of notes, journals and texts, I find myself surprised by the breadth of knowledge that once floated at the surface of my brain. Here was priceless information, accessible at will. Room 26 was an every day occurrence. And then we left and it was no longer, but it wasn't that learning stopped or it was all forgotten. I just went back to sleep, as Cheever would note. The lessons became scattered and I picked and chose at the knowledge I would throw out on a whim. The learning became...fragmented. But, as I happened upon in my notes, you can't have Zen without Daoism. Everything is connected and to truly understand it, you must truly submit yourself to all of it.

I'm not taking these binders when I move out east, but I'm okay with that because the notes aren't absent or unlearned in my life. I've recently begun swimming again. It feels endless, painful and glorious. It feels like exhaling.

1 comment:

  1. I expect I will keep reading this bunch of notes over and over. It reminds me that I have already heard so many things that I think I am learning on my own. I guess what has happened is that Mr. Cheever gave us everything we could begin to take in, but we're still processing it and understanding. It's like that anecdote about the young man who wishes to study Kabbalah, and asks an old rabbi what the essence of religion is. The rabbi basically tells the young man the golden rule, and then says "go practice." We need to remember to keep practicing. Funny how, like playing our piano scales, we let it slip by the wayside. When we begin practicing again, we realize just what we were missing.

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