I was just thinking about being overwhelmed, and what that means. Why am I sometimes overwhelmed and sometimes not? Why am I not overwhelmed right now? Life for my wife and I is incredibly full. We have lived in the same city most of our lives, and have memories and relationships in every neighborhood. Life is a continual moving through different social settings (and strata), different personal and professional responsibilities, and different karmic baggage. Each relationship opens out into another world of relationships. For instance when I go to my kid's schools to talk about some offline/online trolling among the kids, this means engaging dozens of different people (teachers, admin, parents), and each engagement is a different relationship evoking a different self-world interface. We are different people in different situations. I think to a greater or lesser scale this description is common today. So why does it overwhelm or not overwhelm? When practice is weak .....less zazen, sangha estrangement..... all these aspects of life pile in. Looking at the calendar means looking at an approaching avalanche. It overwhelms. When zazen is consistent, that does not happen.. because all those relationships and calendar dates do not exist here. Here there is only this and this and this. It makes no difference whether the calendar is full or empty, when there is only this and this and this. When there is one thing at a time, there is only what I am doing. Being overwhelmed is being swept-up in thinking. Sowing a Rakusu is overwhelming (especially for the first time ) if every step is looked at , but not if there is only this and this and this.. even if this is pulling threads and taking a break.
I am very grateful for Treeleaf Sangha.. ...always here. Gassho. Kojip
BTW.. If I am overwhelmed I am just overwhelmed... that too.