Wednesday, September 14, 2011
It kind of amazes me how commonplace the phrase "that's so Zen" has become. Even people who believe Buddhism is the devil's work seem to be saying it these days. Of course, when people say such a thing, they're basically speaking about some kind of ease, flow, or blissed out state. And I always feel like those saying it have some vague, hazy memory of pot smoking or some other drug trip in mind.
Anyway, after a day full of little hassles and basically being impatient, my computer shut down last night for a short time, and I threw a cussing fit in my apartment. Nothing serious. Just a string of F-enheimers and a few bitter thoughts about various subjects that had been floating around in my mind.
However, after calming down, and getting the computer back on track, I thought "this is Zen too, people!" As I write that, I snicker at the attachment to "what Zen is" coming forth from such a statement. It really doesn't matter in the end if millions of people think Zen is akin to the feeling they had sitting in some dude's basement back in college. Obviously, there's a place for those of us who practice to speak out about such nonsense. That work is valid. But again, in the end, it's not that big of a deal.
However, one thing that did strike me last night is how easy it is to slide into shame around anger and other intense, "negative" expressions. How the line "you're not much of a Zen student, are you?" crossed my mind during that outburst, hoping I'd hook onto it. Which maybe I did shortly, but it's taste just bores me these days, so whatever snacking I did on it was very short lived.
Even though us Zennies laugh at, or get frustrated with, pop culture takes on what we are about, we have our own versions of "that's so Zen." And to the degree we believe in them, and let them hook us, we're that much further away from liberation's door.