Yesterday, 80 residents and guests spent the day in the zendo, sitting quietly with whatever arose inside and out. These sittings help us loosen our grip on what we believe to be true, on what we guard as “I” and “mine,” on all the ways we’ve been wronged – in short, on our suffering. As Ani Tenzin Palmo says,
We are not bound to the wheel. It is we who grasp it tightly with both hands.
Surrender is a hard choice, a gut-wrenching abandonment of story and control. Yet the payoff is huge … and counterintuitive. We suddenly discover that surrendering to the moment, letting go of fix and blame, results in options. The acceptance of things as it is (to borrow a Suzuki-roshi-ism) opens up a treasure store of possibilities.
Sirens whined up and down the street yesterday on their way to and from unknown tragedies and calamities. What option did we have, other than to curse them for disturbing our quiet day? Well, how about just noticing the sound and where it landed in our body and mind. How about sending forth the fervent wish, “May they arrive in time.”