The Spirit of the Ways

The Spirit of the Ways

Leaf Skeleton
Creative Commons License photo credit: llamnudds

This is one of a series of posts intended to clarify the groups being formed in Lost Coin.  The intention is that they be “ways”- a way to make your daily life a path and a practice of realization and excellence.  This is what Lost Coin is about.

The roots of this kind of practice go back to the 12th century in Kamakura Japan.  At that time it became the military capital of Japan and the Zen arts and “ways” were born and flourished.
To classify these “ways” and interpret them for our times here, we can say that the martial “ways” of strategy today would be the path of the entrepreneur: a self-reliant path to financial and personal freedom.
A second “way” is the path of what was the priest, and is now “the helper”: this would be the path of relationship or harmony, including personal relationships, parenting and the helping professions.
A third “way” is the “way” of art or spiritual insight through beauty.   This can be practiced as traditional Zen arts (tea ceremony, painting, flower arranging)  or our modern forms of painting, writing, music.
In this manner, our endeavors in life most of which would fall into these three areas become  our “way.”  Putting our vital energy (ki) and commitment into these areas we transform them into practices of  realization and excellence.
Utilizing our contemporary activities is what makes Lost Coin an alive and modern Zen.

The Ways and Excellence

The Ways and Excellence

Into the sun
Throughout the history of Zen and Taoism, masters and practitioners have spoken of “The Way” or “The Tao.”  This refers to the great way, the way of reality.  The Chinese say “the way of heaven and earth.”  This great way is synonymous with awakening, enlightenment, our true nature, the lost coin.
At the same time, the great way is no different than “the way” of everyday life.
Harmonizing the great way and the way of everyday life, making them one is our practice.  It is retrieving our true life.
Excellence in our daily life, relationship, business, science, art, parenting is the pursuit of the way.  It is the way of the practitioner who is not defeated by adversity, but instead looks at challenges as an opportunity to create and perfect.
Lost Coin continues this tradition.
What a wonderful way to live our lives – fully and with great respect (energy) for everything we do, others and ourselves.  To throw ourselves completely into our life, to study and utilize the knowledge of the “ways,” to close the gap and become one with our life – this is the “Way.”
Creative Commons License photo credit: James Jordan