Monday, October 12, 2015

The Deep End

Steve Weintraub had us all laughing during his dharma talk on Saturday when he likened Zen practice to being thrown into the deep end of the swimming pool  and calling it a swim lesson. I laughed especially hard, as I have had this very image in my mind these past few weeks. Only my version includes former City Center Inos and supportive others shouting all sorts of mostly encouraging things from the pool deck as I'm flailing. They must have learned the same way. While this whole Zen "learning process" appears (and even often feels) totally insane, I hope I wouldn't keep taking the bait into the deep end if I didn't also have some sense of this being the wisest thing I could possibly do to restore myself to sanity.

In my experience, being in the deep end hasn't become any easier. The flailing feels mostly the same  terrifying. I can't stand it. But I stay, because I know there is nowhere else to go. And the more I stay, the more I trust this wild place. I think of the depiction of Aslan as "not safe, but good" in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The ego isn't safe here, and it knows this. But what about our freedom? 

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