Wishing

Wishing

 
 
 

Portrait of a Moroccan Girl

When we are children we instinctively know how to wish with our whole body, heart and soul. As adults, we use more sophisticated terms for the word “wish”. We talk about aspiration, following our passion, priorities, aim. Around this time of year we speak about New Year’s resolutions.

A question that comes up often from my students is “How do I do this thing that I want to do? How do I make sure that I do this practice? How do I make this change in my life or attain this desire?” The reason it becomes a question at all is because we look in our analytical mind, our intellectual center for the answers that reside in the gut, in the area of will. Wishing is directing the will toward a particular aim. We can learn to wish consciously. Conscious wishing is a practice. It is the practice of clearly understanding and pursuing an aim.
How do we become more courageous, how do we make our relationships more harmonious, how do we achieve excellence in our pursuits?
We need to utilize that elemental quality that resides in the pit of our stomach and consiously and deeply wish. In short, I am saying we need to wish for something consciously and strongly when we want it. This is true in very small, simple things like getting up in the morning to sit and in the profound issues of our lives. There is no tricky, analytical method to circumvent the development of will. It is done by wishing, by willing it so.
In the end, I believe that wishes are trails and it is enough to cultivate our spirit and walk these trails. This is the path of a true warrior and the trail is called “the way”.
Creative Commons License photo credit: Alex E. Proimos
 
 
 
 

Wishing

Wishing

 
 
 

Portrait of a Moroccan Girl

When we are children we instinctively know how to wish with our whole body, heart and soul.   As adults, we use more sophisticated terms for the word “wish”.  We talk about aspiration, following our passion, priorities, aim.  Around this time of year we speak about New Year’s resolutions.

A question that comes up often from my students is “How do I do this thing that I want to do?  How do I make sure that I do this practice? How do I make this change in my life or attain this desire?”  The reason it becomes a question at all is because we look in our analytical mind, our intellectual center for the answers that reside in the gut, in the area of will.  Wishing is directing the will toward a particular aim. We can learn to wish consciously.   Conscious wishing is a practice.  It is the practice of clearly understanding and pursuing an aim.
How do we become more courageous, how do we make our relationships more harmonious, how do we achieve excellence in our pursuits?
We need to utilize that elemental quality that resides in the pit of our stomach and consiously  and deeply wish.  In short, I am saying we need to wish for something consciously and strongly when we want it.  This is true in very small, simple things like getting up in the morning to sit and in the profound issues of our lives.  There is no tricky, analytical method to circumvent the development of will.   It is done by wishing,  by willing it so.
In the end, I believe that wishes are  trails and it is enough to  cultivate our spirit and walk these trails.  This is the path of a true warrior and the trail is called “the way”.
Creative Commons License photo credit: Alex E. Proimos
 
 
 
 

Closer

Closer

I love it when you dress in blue!


 
We are stuck in an idea of who we are. Our true nature, the lost coin, is very close – always there.
It is closer than everything we experience, closer than our blood and bones, closer than our thoughts.
Our thoughts block the way.
 
In daily life we study the self. We call this study  mechanics. We investigate the habitual positions we cling to.
What would be if we weren’t stuck in the self?
What would we do if we weren’t stuck in our positions?
 
Creative Commons License photo credit: spettacolopuro

Leveling Up

Leveling Up

sfmoma

 

Historically, the practice of Zen, occurred in a monastic setting.  Monastic practice was a powerful vehicle but today most of us do not have the time or the inclination to practice that way.

We certainly do not want our contemporary practice, the one we are establishing in the West,  to be a watered down version of the old one.  I don’t think that will happen because we understand things about practice that were previously overlooked. Two important aspects that were overlooked were the true state of our emotions and the matrix of our daily lives.  We now have tools the ancients did not.  With the aid of psychology and science we can, in fact, look forward to a renaissance. This is what Lost Coin is about.

It is easy to focus on our understanding and avoid looking at our emotions while they run rampant and have negative effects on those around us and the practice itself.

Personally I have seen far too much of that as a student, as a teacher and as a psychotherapist.

We can end the division of our life into the practice  and the personal.

The Lost Coin Study Center  which has just been established is a step toward this future.   Though we sit (do Zazan) and meet in study groups, we need reminders and the equivalent of food (impressions,inspiration) to continue our practice.  The Center allows us to get further nourishment when we need it , and does not require physical proximity as the monastery did.  This is also true when I do “skype-san” (daisan/interview) on the internet with students who are across the nation or even across the ocean. As commerce now is able to transcend the “brick and mortar”, Lost Coin is in the process of transcending monastic walls and flesh and bones.

We need to evolve. It is not enough to chant about atoning for greed, anger and ignorance .  We need a living practice to  develop and let go of  destructive emotions including fear, which makes us sometimes timid but often predatory and narcissistic.

We can develop an intelligent, loving and pragmatic practice.We can, as they say in video games, level up. There have been holes in our practice.  We are going to change that.

Creative Commons License photo credit: telmo32