Some years ago, early in my studies with my teacher, Venerable Thay Kozen, I remember saying, “All this Buddhist stuff is really just learning how to think about things from a different perspective.”  Or, “Learning to look at things differently.”  I forget exactly what I said, but that’s the gist of it.  Thay Kozen gave me one of his gentle, “Is that so?” reactions.  Now, years later, I’ve found that there is indeed more than just thinking about things differently.  I don’t have the words to explain what the more is.  Words are such an imperfect tool.  When I find the words, I’ll come back and edit this post.  But for now, I’ll give a few tries here.

  • Learning to step back from  the default state of mind static and be present with the present moment.
  • Learning to capture and stay with the instant before we dump our thinking on top of things.
  • Learning to just be.
  • Learning to let go.
  • Learning that on one hand, everything is perfect just as it is.  And at the same time
    “Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken! Take heed, do not squander your life.”
    ― Dōgen
    And that these two are not contradictory.
  • …to be continued…