Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Most People Prefer The Plague

"We're determined that life go as we want it to go. When it doesn't, we're angry, confused, depressed, or otherwise upset. To have such feelings is not bad in itself, but who wants a life dominated by such feelings? 

"When attention to the present moment falters and we drift into some version of 'I have to have it my way,' a gap is created in our awareness of reality as it is, right now. Into that gap pours all the mischief of our life. We create gap after gap after gap, all day long. The point of practice is to close these gaps, to reduce the amount of time that we spend being absent, caught in our self-centered dream. 

"We make a mistake, however, if we think that the solution is that I pay attention. Not 'I sweep the floor,' 'I slice the onions,' 'I drive the car.' Though such practice is okay in the preliminary stages, it preserves self-centered thought in naming oneself as an 'I' to which experience is present. A better understanding is simple awareness: just experiencing, experiencing, experiencing. In mere awareness there is no gap, no space for self-centered thoughts to arise.


"The recipe for living is simply to do what we're doing. Don't be self-conscious about it; just do it. When self-centered thoughts come up, then we've missed the boat; we've got a gap. That gap is the birthplace of the troubles and upsets that plague us."

Nothing Special, Living Zen
Joko Beck

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