Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Doing it Later

As we all know, the mind is going, going, going. The big ball of energy (or whichever metaphor you prefer) never stops. As spiritual seekers, the mind is always trying to "help." It might do so by trying to explain things that we may find beyond thought. It might try to explain reality using philosophy. It might try to help comfort us, telling us things will be better later.

What about spiritual procrastination? Things like:
  • Tomorrow I am going to meditate for several hours
  • This weekend I am going to have a day long silent retreat
  • I had some realization, I need to sit and let it soak in
  • Tonight, I am not going to watch TV - I will meditate and do yoga until bedtime
There are countless ways this can manifest. Ultimately, it boils down to thinking. Planning for some future that may or may not even remotely resemble our plans. So how do we combat this - with more thinking?

Among the many definitions of Zen attributed to Zen Master Seung Sahn, one is "Zen is how you keep your mind, moment to moment." This moment. Not a future moment. The practice is here and now. In all situations, we return to this moment. If we are listening to the thoughts, giving them weight and importance, we cut them off and return to the present. That is the practice. It is not there and then. It is not limited to some cushion by candlelight. It is right where you are.

If Enlightenment isn't in this very moment, where is it?