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Nothing special: living Zen

Book Cover
Average Rating
Harper San Francisco,
Pub. Date:
1st ed.
Chapter One Struggle Whirlpools and Stagnant Waters We are rather like whirlpools in the river of life. In flowing forward, a river or stream may hit rocks, branches, or irregularities in the ground, causing whirlpools to spring up spontaneously here and there. Water entering one whirlpool quickly passes through and rejoins the river, eventually joining another whirlpool and moving on. Though for short periods it seems to be distinguishable as a separate event, the water in the whirlpools is just the river itself. The stability of a whirlpool is only temporary. The energy of the river of life forms living things -- a human being, a cat or dog, trees and plants -- then what held the whirlpool in place is itself altered, and the whirlpool is swept away, reentering the larger flow. The energy that was a particular whirlpool fades out and the water passes on, perhaps to be caught again and turned for a moment into another whirlpool. We''d rather not think of our lives in this way, however. We don''t want to see ourselves as simply a temporary formation, a whirlpool in the river of life. The fact is, we take form for a while; then when conditions are appropriate, we fade out. There''s nothing wrong with fading out; it''s a natural part of the process. However, we want to think that this little whirlpool that we are isn''t part of the stream. We want to see ourselves as permanent and stable. Our whole energy goes into trying to protect our supposed separateness. To protect the separateness, we set up artificial, fixed boundaries; as a consequence, we accumulate excess baggage, stuff that slips into our whirlpool and can''t flow out again. So things clog up our whirlpool and the process gets messy. The stream needs to flow naturally and freely. If our particular whirlpool is all bogged down, we also impair the energy of the stream itself. It can''t go anywhere. Neighboring whirlpools may get less water because of our frantic holding on. What we can best do for ourselves and for life is to keep the water in our whirlpool rushing and clear so that it is just flowing in and flowing out. When it gets all clogged up, we create troubles -- mental, physical, spiritual. We serve other whirlpools best if the water that enters ours is free to rush through and move on easily and quickly to whatever else needs to be stirred. The energy of life seeks rapid transformation. If we can see life this way and not cling to anything, life simply comes and goes. When debris flows into our little whirlpool, if the flow is even and strong, the debris rushes around for a while and then goes on its way. Yet that''s not how we live our lives. Not seeing that we are simply a whirlpool in the river of the universe, we view ourselves as separate entities, needing to protect our boundaries. The very judgment "I feel hurt" establishes a boundary, by naming an "I" that demands to be protected. Whenever trash floats into our whirlpool, we make great efforts to avoid it, to expel it, or to somehow control it. Ninety percent of a typical human life is spent trying to put boundaries around the whirlpool. We''re constantly on guard: "He might hurt me." "This might go wrong." "I don''t like him anyway." This is a complete misuse of our life function; yet we all do it to some degree. Financial worries reflect our struggle to maintain fixed boundaries. "What if my investment doesn''t work out? I might lose all of my money." We don''t want anything to threaten our money supply. We all think that would be a terrible thing. By being protective and anxious, clinging to our assets, we clog up our lives. Water that should be rushing in and out, so it can serve, becomes stagnant. A whirlpool that puts up a dam around itself and shuts itself off from the river becomes stagnant and loses its vitality. Practice is about no longer being caught in the particular, and instead seeing it for what it is -- a part of the whole. Yet we spend most of our energies creating stagnant wat
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID b0329e43-2b1e-9021-afaa-ad5339cefc65
Grouping Title nothing special living zen
Grouping Author beck charlotte joko
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-02-12 04:20:46AM
Last Indexed 2019-02-15 04:41:50AM

Solr Details

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accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Beck, Charlotte Joko.
author_display Beck, Charlotte Joko
available_at_santafe Oliver La Farge Branch, Southside Branch
detailed_location_santafe La Farge, Southside
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id b0329e43-2b1e-9021-afaa-ad5339cefc65
isbn 9780062502568, 9780062511171
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literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_santafe 294.34 Bec
owning_library_santafe Santa Fe Public Library
owning_location_santafe Oliver La Farge Branch, Southside Branch
primary_isbn 9780062511171
publishDate 1993
record_details ils:.b11121889|Book|Books|1st ed.|English|Harper San Francisco,|1993.|277 p. ; 22 cm.
recordtype grouped_work
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
ils:.b11121889 .i15785853 On Shelf *CHECK SHELF* false true true false false true 9999
ils:.b11121889 .i15298243 On Shelf *CHECK SHELF* false true true false false true 9999
subject_facet Religious life -- Zen Buddhism
title_display Nothing special : living Zen
title_full Nothing special : living Zen / Charlotte Joko Beck
title_short Nothing special :
title_sub living Zen
topic_facet Religious life, Zen Buddhism