Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving... Joy of Living

We cover some heavy topics in Zen and in this blog. Life, Death and Suffering. That is a criticism of Zen and Buddhism, sometimes -> Too much focus on the "bad" things of life. The answers to these criticisms are in this Blog and in the book.

With Thanksgiving coming up, this is a good time to ask: Is there any joy in this life? Or is it a vale of tears? In my experience, to takes things too seriously is to suffer. So how do we find the joy in a world that, according to Buddhists is:
  • Riddled with pervasive unsatisfactoriness?
  • Filled with old age, suffering, and death?
  • Like living in a burning house?
  • Now in the degenerate age?

These thoughts are not limited to Buddhism. These are the things people realize on their own - Zen is one way people find to answer these questions. We answer these questions by returning to the here and now. We realize that everything we see is impermanent - yet it does no make us sad. In fact, if we can realize our true nature, impermanence is not a bad thing.

This year, if you are suffering, I encourage you to continue your practice. If you do not have a teacher (Zen friend - not some hierarchical relationship), find one. They are available. Working with a teacher helps both people in the relationship, so don't be afraid to ask. Even one question.

Find the Joy. It his here, in this world of suffering, find it. Here is a silly little poem about impermanence.
If I die today
 that is ok
It wasn't always
 that way
  in this mind
   that seemed to think
   I actually had a choice

One day the thought came
 I don't want to die
  because there are still
 some episodes of MST3k
  that I haven't seen!

That started a revolution
 in the mind
  and body
   after many struggles
   with the fear of death
One day
 it was OK

If I die today
If I live today

Happy Thanksgiving!