There have been moments sprinkled throughout this life, where a feeling rises up. It's like the creak of a door opening that's always been open. On the other side of this door, there is myself; natural, shining, and smiling. I can sense it, and it's terrifying. Paradoxically, it is both birth and death because it's letting go of the concepts of birth and death. Really, it's nothing special at all; but when standing on that threshold and gazing upon myself, it is horribly magnificent. Horrible, because it is the death of me in a way. The little me that clings and pushes, overindulges and enjoys laziness. The me that dances with such profound thoughts, which were my saving grace when I was a child. It's like if there is a monkey who's always lived in a cage. He thinks he wants out, wants to be free, but when the door opens he huddles in the corner hugging himself.

So, like many times in the past I find myself turning away, wanting to just watch the water but not dive in. I, in my monkey mindedness, know what must be done. It's simple, it's always been simple. Just sit, and let go. This is why I've found myself rebelling when I sit the past few days, whereas this has never been an issue for me. Zen has the misconception of being just about peace, balance, and joy. This is only half the picture. We don't add anything to ourselves, we let go of that which is illusory. It is a destructive process. Not intentionally, mind you, but it's a byproduct of the pathless path. It feels as if everything I've always thought I am is dying, because the monkey is no longer being fed. It's angry, and selfish, but only because beneath it all it is (I am) afraid. The same fear I've always had. The fear that's prevented me from diving into those moments in life where we can really let go and move on. The fear that's prevented me from opportunities in work, growth, art and love. I turn away, because I'm afraid of losing myself. This is ridiculous because by losing the self, we allow ourselves to truly be.

The small mind is clever, brilliant really. A master at preserving the dream. For awhile I even entertained the thought that we are all just ideas, that we never truly know anyone, just our idea of them. Seems logical right? Too bad it's rubbish haha. For much of our lives, we wonder at how people describe us. We feel that we know ourselves more than them, that's why their view is incongruous with our own. Really, friends and family have always seen the natural me, whereas I only know the illusion. That's why the monkey mind's fear, "If you let me go, you will change to the point where no one will love you," is even unfounded, because I will be just who I've always been. "Come on!" it says, "I love indulging in all the pleasantries this form has to offer. I'll even stoically withstand the unpleasantness that comes and goes as a compromise. Just don't let me go." Funny thing is, when the ego grows quiet refraining from over-indulgence is not a task; it's just natural.

All that I have to do is sit, and let the dissonance be and it will resolve itself. So, I've kept myself occupied haha. Never before have I felt this compelled to let go, and never before have I fought so viciously against it. I don't want to turn and see myself smiling back at me, because it's a beautiful, ghastly, compassionate smile. The smile of Big Mind, which is the only Mind. The ego fights, even writing this thread is it defending itself. Hiding in words and letters like I did when I was a child. Even the awareness of this process is the ego defending itself. Makes the whole thing seem almost mystical, though it isn't mystical at all. Haha, even me knowing that it isn't mystical is the ego defending itself. Anyway, I will be fine and I'm fine now; the conflict is resolving. I applepologize for the rant, but I figured that this could serve as a comfort to any of you who will or are experiencing this. So now I go. Now, I sit.

Gassho, John