I finished up Zen and the Birds of Appetite today while sitting in the van waiting for Carol to get out of her MRI appointment. Except she never got out. The hospital transported her themselves to her chemo appointment. So I am reading this book about zen and getting madder and madder that she is not out yet, because I need to get the van back so Kate can take the kids to swim and gym, so I can get back to work and my other attachments. In the last class sitting john said, “When you surpress annoyance, it helps surpress all the other sensations the world has to offer.” I like that. Bad feelings are not a failure of meditation practice, but one of the results of practice. I guess the goal is to use meditation to see the true nature of the world and experience it more fully. Our own thoughts and feelings (like annoyance) are just one of the things we experience more fully.
As the Buddhists say, Nirvana is found in the midst of the world around us, and truth is not somewhere else. To be here and now where we are in our “suchness” is to be in Nirvana…… as long as we block and obscure the presence of what truly is, we are in delusion and we are in pain. Were we capable of a moment of perfect authenticity, of complete openness, we would see at once that Nirvana and Samsara are the same.
The kingdom of heaven is laid out upon the earth but men do not see it