Saturday, 11 February 2012

Being Okay With Not Being Okay

Taigu over at Treeleaf wrote a moving post recently (click here for the full text):

"Sometimes life sucks. Sometimes life is a real bitch...

In this situation, no need to dress it up and make it cheerful. No need to flee and avoid the problem. We are all invited to participate with joy to this, because it is the very nature of life, fleeting, changing, fragile, the very nature of what is given to us, sooner or later taken back. In front of this, we invite the unknown, throwing body and mind into it, trusting a process beyond thoughts, feelings and fears...

What a remarkable way to live! Leaping into the unknown, life and death merged and both totally transcended. Every single moment is an opportunity for all of us to exactly do that, that this body of thirty, fourty, fifty years and a few days and throw it into the amazing unknown reality...

Nothing left, no traces, no shadow. Just the taste of what is as it is. That's our way to live, far from the hopes and consolations found in so many religions and belief systems.

Life sucks and it is OK!"

Life sucks, and it's okay.  No really, it is okay.  My parents died last year.  That sucked - and it's okay.  I cried so hard and so often last year.  And that's okay.  

It's not that I'm numb, or that I don't care - I'm not numb and I do care.  What Taigu so eloquently pointed out, and what I'm trying to get across here is that it's okay to not be okay.  If life sucks, that's life!  If I'm not okay and I just feel like screaming that's okay too!  It's not that I'm denying the "suckiness" (apparently there's no such word according to my Mac, but you know what I mean) of life - I'm just embracing it.  

It's so easy to talk about being present and "in the moment", so easy to talk about the "beauty of life" when everything's going well.  So easy to be at peace and talk about having inner peace when everything is peaceful.  But what happens when everything is not going well, when all around is so not peaceful, when all hell seems to be breaking loose?  It's easy to meditate when everything's quiet and no one is there to disturb you - but can you "meditate on the battlefield" so to speak?

But in Zen, we embrace all of life: its beauty and ugliness, its wonderfulness and "suckiness".   We bring the Zen practice from the cushion to the whole of life, and we embrace life just as it is - even as we're trying to make it better, and even when it sucks.  We learn to be okay with both being okay and being not okay.

No comments:

Post a Comment