Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tiger Woods - Who's That?

Now that you've clicked on my blog post, I have to tell you this: I have nothing to say about Tiger Woods. Nada. Golf bores the crap out of me. The media, official and us in the "underground," is filled with sex scandal discussion, be it about Tiger, the Catholic Church, or the firing of the Palestinian President's chief of staff. Humans seem to love to pontificate about sexual ethics, but most of that pontificating ends up being a shit ton of hot air. So, there's your click on the catchy headline commentary.

In other news, life as the board chair of zen center is interesting. Lots of opportunities to place your desire to be liked in check, your hopes of appearing smart and on top of things in check, and your fantasies about having things under control in double check. I'm learning how to make decisions and let go of the reactions that come from such decisions. I'm also learning to make compromises without watering down the overall vision and goals at hand. Both positives in my book.

What I find so fascinating about the zen center board, the stagnation of my workplace, and life in general is how much clinging we all do around change itself. Things are good, so we don't want them to change. Things are shitty, but we're oddly comfortable, so we don't want any change. We have no idea what's going on, but it's easier to just sit and speculate about the future than actually strike a course, and move on.

Some people see me as a go getter, someone who has manifested a lot in a short period of time. There's some truth to that. But I can also sit and spin with the best of them. Two and half years ago, when the former leader of my workplace was about to retire, I told many people "I can guess what's coming, and so I'm leaving when she leaves." Well, I did pretty much guess what was coming, but two and half years later, I don't feel any clearer about what my next step is. Maybe a little clearer, but not that much.

Meanwhile, one of the hot topics of conversation at work this week concerned a broken down dishwasher, and whether it's time for a new one, or if people were simply misusing it. The thing has gotten run 4-5 times a day, 5 days a week, 49 weeks a year, for at least 6 years. It's finished. Bury it already. But these are the kinds of quandaries people get fixated on when the overall ship is sinking.

The grass is greener at the zen center, which is a blessing. But you know what spring is prone to bring with those well cultivated flowers most of us love to gaze at, don't you? Wild weeds, mosquitoes, humidity. That's kind of how I feel right now in the middle of developing our strategic plan - we've got a lot of wonderful flowers growing, and also some of those other three "friends" cropping up in the patches in between. Today, I've been taking up the practice of being curious and interested about those weeds, mosquitoes, and that surprise bit of sweaty heat. It's kind of fun. I've even laughed some about it all with a sangha friend of mine whose helping with some of the planning work.

So, to all of you out there. May you enjoy some lightness in your life, and may you be able to be curious and interested, even in the middle of the muck.


Was Once said...

Many years ago my father said, "We don't need a dishwasher...I have four of them."

The same thing at temple, our sangha chips in and whips them out quicker than any machine. Yet another way to practice with each other.

Magpie said...

lots of opportunities to place your desire to be liked in check reminded me of a fortune via cookie I got when dealing with he very same thing, it read "do the right thing because it is right, have the courage to face it." That fortune has traveled with me many places, a reminder that I would rather be respected than liked (although I'd like to be both!).
It is wonderful that there is greener grass in some areas of your life, and I have faith the muck will clear and the path will unfold as it should in the rest. Now if I could have that same faith in my life, things would be delightful. But then why would I practice? :) (oh yeah.. for everyone else).

Nathan said...

Was Once,

I haven't lived in a house with a dishwasher for over twenty years. I much prefer doing them by hand. We do them by hand at the zen center too! I very much agree it's a great practice opportunity.

At the workplace, though, a new dishwasher is probably as good as it would get for now.

Nathan said...

Thanks for the kind words Meghan. I appreciate it.

Matt Simonsen said...

Yes, no dishwasher at the Zen Center! Nirvana forbid! (I really enjoy doing dishes by hand, myself, once I GET to so many things I procrastinate about in life....)

Nathan—thanks for the "false headline"! (Though it wasn't really false, because you did say, "...who's he?") Really relieved you didn't have anything to say about TW!

Board sounds interesting.... I think I haven't reached the level of spiritual development that you are embarking on, since I've been dodging nominations for the Board for years (at least two or three nominations/strong suggestions). Really! I think I'm scared to death of it, and all the shitty parts of myself it would probably expose to me (and others! Gasp! That I should be seen as another sometimes-shitty-human-buddha!) I will try to listen more to Board members when they talk about the experience, and not shut down quite as quickly while listening. Maybe that will be baby steps toward being ready to take on a challenge like that, some day, if/when it's offered again. (The "if" is probably bullshit, since it seems to be the way of the Universe that when we set an intention to start being more aware of something, the Universe starts to give us more of it. And it also seems to be a Way [Dao!] of Reality that we never get to feel completely ready for the opportunity before it's "shit or get off the pot.")

Be well,

Nathan said...

Hey Matt,

It's true that being on the board, and having to consider and speak about various issues vital to the life of the organization - it definitely brings up the shit. And yes even more as the Board Chair. What's so funny is that my zazen periods the day of board meeting tend to be all letting go of board-related stuff coming up.

Oh, and I don't doubt you're name will come up again for board membership :)

As Byakuren has been saying some, "Be generous to the human condition."


Sara said...

hee the title. That made me laugh.