Lost my Cushion, lost my Mind
Last week we started a new meditation group at the Unitarian Church in Princeton, I brought my cushion from home not knowing we had them already. As you can already guess by the title of this post I left my cushion. I didn’t realize it until I was home. Out of nowhere I became incredibly angry the kind of anger that made me want to break stuff. Then there was this feeling of my heart cracking open with feelings of intense sadness and loss. I thought I had finally lost my shit feeling so upset over a damn cushion that is easily replaceable. However what I was feeling had nothing to do with the cushion, I had found out my Mother has cancer a couple of weeks before. I had been so busy with work and making sure things where being taken care of that I hadn’t processed any feelings, and losing my cushion was the trigger.
As I was having these feeling come up there was also a struggle one side of me thought “Huh, this is not very Zen of me to be feeling this way everything is empty and I should not be so attached” the other thought was “This is real and I should allow my feelings to flow naturally have the experience then let it go”. Which thought is truly Zen? Both questions come from a thinking mind. The don’t know mind only experiences without judgment. I am sure I am not the only person who has questioned how I am supposed to feel or react as a Buddhist. The Buddha taught the four noble truths.
1. The truth of dukkha (suffering, anxiety, unsatisfactoriness)
2. The truth of the origin of dukkha
3. The truth of the cessation of dukkha
4. The truth of the path leading to the cessation of dukkha
The confusion for me comes from what this cessation of dukkha? Is it bliss and we never have to feel dukkha ever again? Or is it simply acceptance and not clinging to experience? This is an easy place to get stuck and say screw this Buddhism shit it doesn’t make sense. I don’t know the answer. Don’t know is the best answer I have heard so far. That is what I like about Zen is that don’t know can be the correct answer. Rather than endless debates and intellectual fodder there is the simple “don’t know” It has been about two weeks since I lost my cushion and my mind. Thankfully I got my cushion back, but not my mind. I don’t want to worry about if what I am feeling is the correct Zen way to feel, because it just causes more suffering. When I stay open and feel whatever it is not judge it and let it go that seems to work better for me. I don’t know is this is cessation of dukkha, but it is surly less dukkha than I would experience if I try to rationalize everything.
Another side of this is attachment to spiritual practice, philosophy, theology ect.. Because as long as I am a Buddhist then there is something other than Buddhist which contradicts what the Buddha was teaching to begin with. Recently I took a class about Huang Po, and he said “There is no Buddha save all beings, and no beings to save” He cuts the chord ends all the thought about being a Buddhist if there is no Buddha then there is no Buddhist there is only mind and mind is Buddha. So by asking “is this the way a Buddhist should feel?” Created a “me” and other when in reality everything is interdependent and not separate. It is funny how the mind will twist things around so there is always a greater than, and less than. Then my next thought is “well at least I notice this thinking so I am more aware” Which is funny because I said there is no more or less. I all that really need to be done is to lose the thinking mind and keep the cushion.
Thanks for reading