no. (roses_rejoice) wrote,

zen post

I bought this book last week at the local bookstore, Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth. Even though I realized it was a blatant attempt to capitalize on Cherry Blossom Festival week, I still found it pretty good. It's about a giant panda named Stillwater who teaches three children these little Zen parables. Here is a picture of the panda having some bamboo cake that the little girl in the story made for their tea party.

(I suppose I could bitch about the whole gender-biased angle of how the little boys in the story climb trees and go swimming with the panda, while the little girl bakes him a cake, but given that I was the type of little person who enjoyed baking cakes for tea parties, I don't feel like making a fuss when the book looks so pleasant and peaceful and calm.)

The little parables were good, especially the one about how Good and Bad luck are always mixed up together. How the farmer's horse ran away, but then came back bringing two other wild horses...and then his son tried to ride the wild horse and fell off and broke his leg and couldn't help his father farm, but when the draft board came to town to conscript the young men, they skipped the farmer's son because his leg was broken. And after each event, the farmer's neighbors exclaim, "What good luck!" or "What bad luck!" and the farmer just says, "Maybe."

That's how i feel...very maybe baby. I've been feeling quite drawn to zen lately, which would not be a new thing for me. Have always read up on the Eastern intrigue since high school, you can guess how I got started. Maybe it's just natural for me, the balancing sign, to always be looking up the yinyang to the East, or maybe the ol' Kung Fu series made an impression, grasshopper (Thought it was interesting that that was Bruce Lee's idea, and then they wouldn't let him star in it *rolls eyes*). But I always thought zen buddhism was very akin to Catholicism, at least the individual catholicism (oxymoron, that :P) I tend to consider. Of course, every time I voiced such a sentiment growing up, I would have dogma thrown at me till I learned not to mention it out loud - It didn't change what I think. A monk is a monk, meditation is meditation, rise above is rise above. You can use a rosary, or a rock garden, or a rosary in the rock garden. What matters is in your heart.

There is no speck of dust
Nor surface of mirror bright,
If all is void,
Where can the dust alight?

Verse I always remembered from some story about how the smartest monk (supposedly) in the monastery was outwitted by the person (a teacher? a janitor? i forget) who came up with that verse.

I need the void right now. I need to let go, I am in the process of letting go. I am still angry, I will always be angry, and I don't intend to change that. Not in terms of coming to some Greater Understanding, not by recharacterizing all sorts of terrible events as Growth Experiences (blech), not by suddenly getting over my bad feelings and extending a hand in hopes of fixing things. All that stuff is fake. I've tried to fix things; in certain cases I tried many times. Some things don't fix, won't fix, weren't meant to be fixed. And I'm not going to pretend it's OK because it's not and will never be. Not even by forgiveness. I've forgiven as much as I can. It's time to travel on now; if it is truly unfinished, it'll come back when it's time to get done. Otherwise it'll just recede into the distance, like a bad night at a hotel.

Anger is great. (Yeah I know that's un-Zen-like, but hell, I am also Clancy-lowered-the-boom.) It's great, up to a point. That point is (here comes the zen part, according to the panda) where you start putting so much energy into being mad that it takes energy away from the fun you could be having. And you start to become reactive rather than proactive, spending so much time reacting to other people's stimuli that you aren't listening to yourself, aren't communicating the stuff that is deeply your own, the most important stuff. It's gotten so I can pretty much tell what people are going to do to annoy me in advance. Engineers, doctors, lawyers, people in bands, unemployed people, students, randumb idiot bitches, all of them have shit that they do that bugs me, and 90% of the time it's the same shit. There is a time to React, and a time to Refuse and Resist Reacting...

No more fake people
No more people pretending they care
No more people who can't be bothered in the ways I need them to bother
No more jabbering people
No more mercurial people
No more boring people
No more people obsessed with where, whither, or whether their next paycheck is coming
No more evile jealous bitchy gossips
No more people who think their Kids are their Life
No more people hungup on the concept (not the Reality) of long-term relationships
No more people who were mean to me
No more people who couldn't be arsed to talk to me
No more people worrying I'm going to mess them up with their SOs somehow (*rolls eyes*)
No more people leaving me abruptly alone
No more abandonment

just Walk away, Renee...

...there's something good/ waitin' down this road/
I'm pickin' up/ whatever's mine

I got a bag of rocks from somewhere between Seattle and Bellingham, and I'm gonna go lay in bed and think about Hedgie, and Mister Straw waxing all enthusiastic about Bellingham, and all the pleasant people who really *do* give a damn whether it's five percent or five hundred percent, and aren't too hung up on their own complexes to share it. To show it.
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