People sometimes ask me if it is always wise to follow one's heart and intuition, whether Zazen will help one listen to one's heart better, and whether doing so will always
lead us to the "right way to go".
Well, certainly. in sitting quietly ... the storm of thoughts and emotions settled and still ... we may hear our heart better, come to resolution on a choice.
However, sometimes even our heart can't predict everything! So, personally, when possible for a 'big decision' (an example of such a time was when my family and I were considering whether to live in Japan or in the US, but it could be any big life decision), I first like to gather as much information and options as possible, ask some expert or experienced folks for opinions, list up the "pros" and "cons" ... then sit with it on the Zafu dropping all thoughts and emotions in Shikantaza ... then think about it some more later in the day ...
... AND THEN JUMP ONE WAY OR THE OTHER!
In the end, there comes a time when one can start to over-think the situation, think up endless variables and "what if's", and the mind cannot make a choice. At that time, the best course after doing all the "information gathering and weighing of pros and cons" above is ... stick one's finger in the wind to see which way the wind blows, drop the thinking and further analyzing in a "Shikantaza" way, find a bit of quiet and spaciousness within ... (then maybe rise from the cushion and think about it a little more!) ... but then finally once and for all, throw a finger in the air and make a choice ... follow one's heart and JUMP! (Or, follow one's heart and stay where one is, also an option
And in doing so ... more times than not ... it turns out okay or much better than okay. Not always though.
So, will following intuition ... and sitting all the Zazen in the world ... always lead you to the "Right Choice"? YES! .... EXCEPT WHEN IT DOES NOT!
But, that is when Zen Practice also offers a very wise bit of Wisdom:
When coming to a crossroads, TAKE IT!
Go right or left (unless staying put
). Then, just be there and move on. If one ended up taking a bumpy road instead of the smooth road intended ... just be there and move on. At the next crossroads, which is ever right underfoot ... repeat above process! One may discover that one made the right choice or the wrong, got to one's objective or got lost. You will probably find you end up where never expected. However, it is always the RIGHT CHOICE
... for it is the RIGHT WHERE ONE NOW IS CHOICE. Move on from here.