Sunday, October 2, 2011

Reflections: Mind Cannot Be Grasped (I)

In any given moment the extent to which we are able to let go of our expectations for that moment determines our ability to access peace, contentment, freedom and happiness in that moment.

It's not that we shouldn't have thoughts, goals, dreams and hopes for the future, it's the nature of the mind to create them. Society capitalizes on that tendency. It's also not that conditions and circumstances should be denied if they are less than perfect or that we shouldn't make an effort to improve conditions and circumstances if we can. But it is my current sense that the gate to contentment and happiness can only ever be found in the present, in the here and now, irrespective of conditions and circumstances.

In each moment we have a choice of whether we are going to attribute the presence or, more usually, absence of contentment and happiness during the specific moment to external conditions and circumstances beyond our momentary control or whether we are willing to take responsibility for our own state of mind by relaxing our expectations for the moment and allowing ourselves to be.

Zazen is a good way to learn how to drop off expectations for the moment and take responsibility for our state of mind. There is no good sitting or bad sitting. Zazen is just sitting, sitting without expectation of how zazen should be and, in fact, can be... when we let go of our expectations during any given round of zazen.

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