No, not the slogan of some new sudo-zen fast-food chain

During zazenkai today I often jolted myself out of my own thoughts, I was caught up in many of them, often so deeply that I wasn't even paying attention to the wall in front of me. Being human, and a bit of perfectionist, I was hard on myself for being like this. Many reprimanding thoughts of how I should be during zazen, more focused, more this, more that. Needless to say I had to wake myself up out of those thoughts too :roll:

After a few moments of this I took notice of my facial expression: furrowed, tense, serious. So I decided for the rest of the sit to imitate the Buddha, a serene, half smile. It felt much more natural than the expressionless face I was striving for.

This may remind you of the recent talk about "namby-pamby zen". Well I don't believe it is. A giant toothy grin :mrgreen: may be faking it, but a simple half-smile doesn't say "Everything is AWESOME! WOOHOO ZAZEN!" it says, "I am home, I am ok." So often I find myself being hard on myself for the "quality of my zazen", for not being this way or that. But it is ok to not be this way or that, I am just being simple, deluded, day-dreaming me.

It has something to do with Dogen's three mind philosophy, Joyful Mind specifically, if we remain joyful even when we are sad or angry, then we are just ok. I also find that maintaining one of these minds, the other two are maintained simultaneously. But anyways, this is my 3 cents on practice and mindset. Thoughts, opinions?

Gassho and a smile