Thursday, October 17, 2013

Zen Does

Traditional Korean brush rendering of Bodhidharma,
who founded the Zen tradition in China.
Before dawn 108 prostrations. Counted breaths, counted mantras, thousands a day. Zen makes breakfast. Zen goes to the bathroom. Zen goes to work. At night, before bed, Four Great Vows to save all beings. Sleep. Repeat.

Zen completely overwhelms. Zen takes a break. It's not a religion. Then it thinks it is. But it isn't, really? Zen asks lots of questions. Who am I? I will never fulfill all these Zen demands. I'm not supposed to. I try anyway. Sometimes not. Sometimes for 10,000 years nonstop! There's no attainment. There's nothing to attain.

Zen and I got into a pissing match. Zen won. Zen always wins. Except when someone loses, but even then.

Zen sits and sits and sits staring at the floor. Zen hurts an awful lot. Zen eats it. People ask Zen if it will help them calm down. This is Zen.

I ask Zen if it is just a further amplification of the extreme stance on self-reliance everyone in my life including the yokels in my Podunk hometown told me was the only way to go. Zen says yes. Screw you, Zen. So I quit Zen. I punch the wall out with my fist. Who did that stupid feat? It all seems very familiar. Everything reminds me of Zen.

Was Zen here before you? Zen sits some more. Zen doesn't see, hear, smell, taste, touch or think. It's sort of like talking to a wall, which is a kind of inside joke for Zen people. And then it sees and hears and smells and tastes and touches and thinks and maybe there's a lot to dislike about Zen, but we keep watching it. Who's making all that dislike? Zen asks that.

Zen asks that over and over and over. Forget who answers. Zen doesn't answer.

Who listens?

for F. Kwan Zheng Dao

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