October 30, 2009

The Zen of a Good Sh*t. ~ via John Pappas

Is there such a thing as “a good sit”? Is a meditative session ever actually bad?

There are times when I really feel connected to what I am doing and there are times when the outside seeps in and I am distracted or annoyed by well, anything. Cars, my legs (which are usually killing me), someone farting, stress, the guy next to me that insists on smoking before a zazen session, provide endless supplies of distraction and annoyance.

But this morning was a great sit. I went through my entire morning session without any sense of difficulty; a simple feeling of sublime comfort and ease. Meditating can be just as easy as slipping into bed and reading a book. So, when I was done I tried to pinpoint what exactly made it so positive and so different from those less satisfying (but productive) sits.

I try to avoid the standard “Zen” answers about seeing my own nature, my Buddha-nature or my face before I was born (what the hell does that mean anyway) and found that I had the same feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction as when finishing a huge pile of dirty dishes or cutting the lawn; a general sense of being happy that something was completed and somewhat tired from the work but not completely drained. It wasn’t easy or hard it just was. Wonderful!

In the end a good sit is the same as a good sh*t.

Some effort required but you hopefully never got stuck or had to strain. You feel lighter afterwards and you have the urge to tell everyone about it but to them, it is just sh*t. In the end you don’t know why it was good or bad, you just know that you did it. Tomorrow, I start again. No comparisons, just another sh*t.

The act of meditating, yoga practice or chanting is all an imitation of the act of wiping our collective spiritual ass. This comes to no surprise to most of the Zen practitioners out there, especially with Zen Master Yunmen Wenyan’s statement that the “Buddha is a Sh*t-Stick”. Some recoil in horror at this description, this contradiction of the mundane and the holy.

With all the bells and whistles, the pomp and the austere, at the crux of our spiritual practice is the expelling of the waste and the wiping of what it left over. Anything else is putting a tie on a pig.

Good Zen sh*ts for all!

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