11 October 2007

Zen Is Right Here

A student asked in dokusan*, "If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound?" To which Suzuki Roshi answered, "It doesn't matter."
I am good at taking things that don't matter in the least (britney spears comes to mind here as the latest obsession since there are no children missing at the moment) and trying to make something out of them be they worries, fantasies or important thoughts. This seems to be what Suzuki is saying to me - theories, hypotheticals, things that we cannot know, just don't matter. At all.
"I bet she skipped our appointment on purpose?" "I'll bet if I work hard I can get promoted" "What is heaven like?"
All that thinking. All that wasted effort. Focus on what matters! Suzuki also said that "The most important thing is to find the most important thing." Which sounds trite but isn't - thinking about that apocryphal tree in the apocryphal forest is a waster of valuable time. Life is precious and you shouldn't waste it on things that don't matter. Like Britney. And K-Fed. I bet our addiction to celebrities would be a good blog topic at some point.
In the end, its just stick to the business at hand. This moment. Now.
I am taking Friday off as a mental health day and hope to walk in the woods and sit for a bit. I'll let you know if I achieve satori.
* A private interview between a Zen student and the master. It is an important element in the Zen training, as it provides an opportunity for the student to discuss problems in his or her practice and to demonstrate understanding.

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