Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer

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Joko Beck gives me a little reminder

While reading Everyday Zen before bed last night, Joko was talking about some common obstacles to clear seeing (from a personal spiritual perspective, mainly). The last one she discussed reads as follows:
A fifth obstacle, common among people who spend much time at Zen centers, is substituting talk and discussion and reading for persistent practice itself. The less we say about practice, the better. ... Why talk [about dharma]? My job is to notice how I violate it. You know the saying, "He who knows does not say, and he who says does not know." When we talk about practice all the time, our talk is another form of resistance, a barrier, a cover. It's like academics who save the world every night at the dinner table. They talk and talk and talk -- but what difference does it make? At the other end of that pole would be someone like Mother Teresa. I don't think she does much talking, She is busy doing.
So yeah... So, I'm going to go and meditate for a few minutes before starting my work day, then. This was a good reminder for me to stop reading so much all the time and just spend some time in silence. I love reading from my little spiritual library, but that reading is no substitute for good practice, to be sure. For it to transcend an intellectual pursuit, it must be transformed in some way to action in my life.

On a related note, I've finally shaken off the last vestiges of bad eating that I developed after that 3-day buffet binge at B's work retreat two weekends ago. I'm three full days back into my regular clean eating plan again, and two days back into my regular workout routine. It feels great -- so great -- to be back on track. I'm 2 weeks behind scheduled and gained 2 extra pounds for my lapse, but I'm not letting it bug me too much. I should hopefully drop that within another week or so after my regular habits get back online. Overall goal to reach my target weight by the end of the summer are also still generally on track. I need to lose 20 pounds in the next 13 weeks to stay on schedule. May or may not happen, but I'll have fun trying. The workouts, as usual, feel glorious.

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hai_kah_uhk May 26th, 2003
That's a good point. Unfortunately not one that applies to me as much. I tend to move too far too fast, spiritually, so arranging for frequent distractions actually helps. This is why I opted to do my spiritual explorations at Catholic Mass rather than at zazen.

Not that this is relevant to you... I just thought the contrast was interesting.

Much encouragement on your good health endeavors. Keep plugging - that's really the only way to do it.

chaizzilla May 26th, 2003
that first sentence from beck is totally ace, the rest is mush. that quote she quotes in this quote is like classic death-cult correction fluid stuff. invert the sentences, they're sides of coins -- those who know it all have nothing to say, those who say still want to know. i believe i dug everyday zen a bunch, maybe this paragraph just clangs out of context. anyway, there is no way for practice to transcend an intellectual pursuit. practice is practice. if it is not practice, it is not practice. ok, that's just tautology. [throws hands up in the air]

btw, just boot the schedule forward 2 weeks and voila, back on track.

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