My Christmas sucked ass.
Well, not entirely. There were some bright spots in the debacle that I endured over the Christmas 2015 holiday week. But mostly it sucked. Maybe one of these days I’ll tell you all about it. Maybe not. Trust me, though. It was epic in its suck.
Often in old Zen books there’s a lot of stuff about “home leaving.” There’s an idea that one cannot pursue Enlightenment unless one leaves all ties to family, friends and normal society behind and enters a cloistered environment. One must live in a place where only people fully dedicated to the pursuit of the Ultimate Truth are allowed in. Anyone who breaks the strict rules and vows of the cloistered space is booted out in order to preserve the space itself.
There’s no magic to this. It’s not like there’s some kind of Enlightenment Elixir available only in monasteries. It’s just that when your body and mind is all wrapped up in dealing with stuff like my Christmas hell (or yours), you’re probably not going to get a lot of meditating done. That’s really all there is to it.
As long as you stay in the so-called “real world” you’re going to be faced with “real world” dramas. This isn’t to say that monasteries are 100% drama-free zones. It’s just that monasteries are specifically designed to try and reduce such distractions through a time-tested regimen of rules, duties and hierarchies. That’s the stuff some people complain is “militaristic.” It doesn’t always work. But it usually works better than staying in the so-called “real world.” Still, if you choose to go that route, you’re sacrificing something else.
Some would say the cloistered life is nobler.
Maybe it is. I wouldn’t know.
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Our Saturday morning zazen in Culver City now starts at 10:00 am!
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I’ve got a new book coming out soon! Stay up to date on its release schedule, my live appearances and more by signing up for our mailing list on the contact page!
April 23, 2016 Long Island, New York Molloy College “Spring Awakening 2016”
October 23-28, 2016 Benediktushof Meditation Centrum (near Würzburg, Germany) 5-Day Retreat
Every Monday at 8pm there’s zazen at Silverlake Yoga Studio 2 located at 2810 Glendale Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90039. Beginners only!
Every Saturday at 10:00 am (NEW TIME!) there’s zazen at the Veteran’s Memorial Complex located at 4117 Overland Blvd., Culver City, CA 90230. Beginners only!
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Your donations to this blog are still important, especially after what I spent on my so-called “holidays.” I won’t get any of the Angel City Zen Center fundraiser money. I appreciate your on-going support!