Wobbling Stillness

We have a tendency to judge our experiences as good or bad, some of our experiences can send us spiraling upward to the gates of Heaven and others knock us down to the pits of hell- Or so it seems.


I believe that every single thing we experience, no matter how seemingly significant or insignificant, no matter how seemingly good or bad, is perfect, and stems from something far beyond what our minds can conceive of, from a wisdom that is completely unfathomable to us in our dualistic mindset, where we judge our experience, categorise our experience, separate ourselves from our experience and from everything else.


Everything that happens is perfect, things can happen no other way, because that’s the way the thing has happened. And they all happen for a perfect reason at a perfect time, and are all a complete expression – the only thing that prevents us from experiencing this perfection is our own perceptions.


We judge and categorise every experience and therefore miss the underlying perfection in it all, the underlying oneness in it all.


The practice of Zazen is a complete expression of life and so reflects all of life. People often think what sitting in Zazen ‘should’ be is some blessed out state, complete peace and serenity, utter stillness, complete oneness. And certainly for some moments during sitting, even for entire sitting or even days you do become very still, very settled, there is a dropping off of mind and body, you can feel the aliveness of every cell of your body, feel like you are not breathing but being breathed by God, and experience the most profound experiences of peace I have ever known.
But there are also times when you are completely distracted by your thoughts, dragged every which way by them, you are completely distracted by your physical discomfort, your legs are numb and feel like they are about to fall off, your back tightens and wont seem to relax , your shoulders keep tensing, you are in so much pain you just want to stand up and walk out, you are so bored you feel like biting through your own tongue just for something to do, for some excitement. Most of the time though, you are just somewhere in between all that, nothing extreme at all, just sitting, wobbling between comfort and discomfort, tension and relaxation, stillness and distraction. You experience is just as it is, just sitting.


And so people begin to categorise their experience of sitting in Zazen, the peaceful, blissful moments get classified as a ‘good sitting’ the distracted, uncomfortable ones as ‘bad sitting’ . But really any such distinction is simply illusion. I’ve come to realise that my experience is perfect no matter what, that we are always wobbling, not between good or bad, but between perfection and perfection. What could be more perfect than what is?


Why would you bother doing something like that? People may ask- sounds horrible.
To me that question is the same as asking , why would you bother living?


Our lives reflect this in entirety, wobbling between perfection, that we judge and perceive as good or bad. We imagine that through our experiences we move along a line that at one end is bad and the other end is good. We all desperately try to crawl our way along that line, to finally reach the end, to reach the bliss that it promises, but it always seem we take one step forwards and two steps back on this line, the bad point of it constantly chasing our tail, creeping up on us as we look back in fear.


But if we just let go of our own judgement , of our limited perceptions, to see beyond what our vision can see, we could see, that’s both points of the line are one and the same, perfection, we are not travelling along some line at all, we are centred within a circle, perfection all around us, and we are the circle too. The great wobbling between two points that are the same, within a circle, is really no movement at all, in fact it is utter perfect stillness- Our wobbling is stillness.


It once took my heart to be broken for me to realise what was truly inside it, an unconditional love, with no opposite. To judge the situation , to call the pain of a broken heart ‘bad’ would have been to make myself blind and deaf to something magnificent, something so very beautiful, the sight and sound of my heart being broken open, opening up to that stillness that was always there, that was always ‘me’ unmoved by the seeming changes of the tide.


Fear not experiences changing, forms seeming to come and seeming to go, they are all perfect, all happening for some reason unfolding, one experience closes over so another can blossom. And they are all so very still.


Everything that happens is simply just s it is, through our perception we can see any experience as either an angel reaching down from the heavens and helping us along our way, showing us the beauty all around us, or we can see it as a demon dragging us through the dirt, holding us in darkness.
If both are illusion the question is, which one empowers us more?
You cant fight against the darkness and win, but if you just let go , just surrender, the light comes in all by itself, the demon you were facing becomes an angel, the darkness, light.


Many of us spend years stumbling through the darkness, searching for the light and joy of life. We blunder along waiting for the light to shine, trying to remain faithful, open and ready to respond. But in spite of all our efforts, the place , the timing, and the occasion of our enlightenment are often determined by forces greater than our own.- Tom Cowan


Relax- its supposed to happen!
The Adventure Awaits….
**This is a republished post from my old blog Brutal Training – Europe**

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