Tonight, I’m ready to shut it all down and go to bed. The day was busy with the rigors of parenting, the grind of household duties. No time for « I »!
So after the last dishes are finally done, the night is quiet, I sit down, put the words here. Whatever words come. I know they will, although I don’t know what.
I’m thinking as ever about what this « practice » is, who does it and how, when and where. Why do I do it? What do I do?
People ask about it, the question comes up in study groups and more casual talk. Every time, I have a different reply, although I feel I always say the same thing.
It’s actually quite simple. This « Zen meditation » is really just taking a seat in the middle of whatever is going on, in the middle of the moment. Face to face with you.
In one of the classic images, the Buddha is sitting cross-legged, left hand resting palm-up in his lap, right hand hanging down, fingertips lightly touching the ground. This « earth-touching mudra » says it all, perfectly: Everything we need is here, this very seat is the ground of awakening.
It has nothing to do with Buddhism, Zen, robes, ceremonies, rituals, the color of your clothing or the cut of your hair, a title, position, attainment.
It has everything to do with just sitting down. With whatever comes. In the middle of your life. Fingertips lightly touching the ground. Or the dishwater.