Sunday, July 26, 2009

What Works for You?

"What Works for You?", number 117 of 200 from Robert Aitken's book Miniatures of a Zen Master.

"Career, Family, Zen Practice, each one affects the others. The proper proportions of the mix for one student will not be the same as they are for another. This is not a dilemma. Choose your mix and make it work."
Robert Aitken Roshi
My mix is different from yours. Let's not compare. As I look, I feel comfortable with the constellation that is my life. Yet it is undergoing some tweaking.

My career, Medical Digital Imaging Specialist, is challenging and rewarding. It does take up a huge portion of my life and does supply a corresponding amount of support to my external life. This is in contrast to the support Zen practice supplies to my internal life.

Are these two supposed aspects of life as separate as that previous sentence makes them out to be? Let's hope not.

One aspect of my life not accounted for by this miniature's mixture, is my flow side or what is otherwise known as wood working. This is in the mix and feels more important as time goes on.

When the great Chinese Zen master Ta-mei was dying, his students asked him for a final helpful word. "When it comes, don't try to avoid it; when it goes, don't run after it," he said. Just then, a squirrel chattered on the roof. "There is only this, there is nothing else," said Ta-mei, and then he died.
Francis Dojun Cook, How to Raise an Ox, Wisdom Publications

Any error or confusion created by my commentary on
Miniatures of a Zen Master
is solely a reflection of my own delusion and ignorance.
Any merit generated by this activity is solely the result of
Aitken Roshi's clear teaching and is dedicated to
all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas throughout space and time.

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