Sunday, December 18, 2011
I have been experiencing a lot of shoddy perceptions lately. Or maybe it's better to say that I have been responding to situations from a faulty lens.
Zen talks a lot about "don't know mind," and yet I think most of us get lost in the nice sound of those words. Don't know mind means, in a way, to be constantly surprised by the world without being tossed about by that surprise. Not really an easy thing to do without some practice. And even then, a lot of the time, we're mostly sleepwalking through our days.
When I think about the impulse to be kind, for example, and how easily that can turn into sour if the other person surprises you first, I kind of cringe. You're about to grab the last bag of groceries, and your partner gets there first. And then you get angry because ... well, you wanted to help, but now you can't. Although really, if you look closely, much of that anger is probably more about the surprise itself - that the world didn't confirm the story you had about it.
This kind of thing happens every day. I do it. You probably do it. My guess is that nearly everyone has these moments where there's a shift away from the basic kindness of our buddhanature because some surprise has occurred and startled us.
What does the mind and heart that is "don't know" truly look like? How does it feel? Do you even see it, feel it, when it's happening?
Sit with those questions awhile. And maybe remember them as you go about your day.