Zazen Meditation with Jundo : Still Off My Game

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I'm still feeling quite off my game today. This thing in my life really knocked me for a loop.

Some folks think that one is never ever supposed to have a bad day or days if one is a "Zen Teacher" (so, I must be a poor one!). They'll tell you that, once you get this Zen thing down pat, get "Enlightened" or whatever they think, it is just peaches and cream morning to night, floating on golden lotus pads in the clouds, beyond all human concerns.

Of course, most of the people who say that have never actually met such a 'perfected being' in the flesh (although they have read about them in old Buddhist stories).

Well, I don't think its true ... at least for most Buddhists or Zen Practitioners. To me, our Way is a way of balance and skillful living. And even the most skillful fellow can loose his skill and balance from time to time. I mean, if Tiger Woods can put a golfball in the sandtrap, Roger Federer hit a net ball, or Lance Armstrong take a bad spill off his bike ... we can have bad day(s) too. We're not machines, for gosh sakes (although even machines break down!)

Because our way is a way of balance, a lot like riding a bike, every corner we round is a surprise. Life throws a lot of bumps and curves and potholes on life's road, and our Zen Practice allows us to handle most of that with dexterity and ease. What knocks most people off their seats, or shakes them up, we can glide past via the mental balance and strength developed in Shikantaza.

But, from time to time, a good side wind or log in the road will push us right off balance and into the bushes. Our bike goes flying through the air, and we end up with bloody knees ... maybe a broken leg.

Does that mean we are doing our riding this life all wrong? I think not. I think it just human for even the best bike riders to fall off their bike from time to time. Even break their legs and be out of action for a time.

  But as soon as we can, we get back on our bikes, back in training, recover our balance ... and ride on again down life's road.

 There is always the next bend in the road.

(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)

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