Sunday, January 6, 2013

Why the heck do Zen?

2010 was a tough year.

I had been working for more than 20 years at the same company and my job was on the line.  Panic!!!  As the sole income source for a family of 6 the pressure was pretty intense.  So I did what most people would do...I doubled down on the job.

This was also the tipping point that propelled me into Zen practice but in reality the ship had sailed years before I just didn't realize it.  Starting my Zen practice was like dealing with allergies.  The cumulative effect of all allergens determines if your body can handle them or not.  The job threat forced me to act.

My story is simple.  I got on the corporate train and tried to ride it.  20 years of exposure left me numb. I was going through the motions of life; not living.  The world was colorless and 2 dimensional.  No longer living and no longer safe in my work cocoon where should I turn or run?

I started by reaching for "pop" Zen books like "Zen in the Art of Archery."  They hinted at something potentially useful but I was still just smelling the warm chocolate chip cookies...not really tasting them.  Then I read Shunryu Suzuki's "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" and my true Zen practice started.

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