After a fun week in England with my sister and niece, I am back home. Only a week till my first sesshin(zen retreat) in Brugge. I must say I am excited and a little nervous-which is stupid. I should just relax and let things fall in place by themselves. However that part in me that constantly tries to control everything cannot relax and is afraid of making mistakes. While browsing the internet for "first sesshin experiences", I came across this article that answered several questions in my head.
Here is an excerpt:
"This public correction can be very uncomfortable as we usually rush to cover up our imperfections, but in Zen you eventually learn to accept yourself as you are by accepting that your failings are obvious, ordinary, and not special to you. At first I tended to only notice my own mistakes, but as this has become less painful I am seeing my mistakes blend in with everyone else's. Chanting is a good place to notice this as it is difficult for westerners to chant in Japanese, and even the English chants are long and hard to follow correctly. I don't think I'll live long enough to experience it - but they say a Zen master is one big mistake! In dharma talks sometimes Eshin says “we are all one big mistake”. This is a powerful antidote to getting stuck in the "I want to be special, So fuckin' special . . . But I'm a creep" song."You can read the whole article here: http://www.bmsnbc.com/sangha_news/sanghanews1/sesshin.htm
I get a lot of questions as to why I do zazen. Am I a Buddhist? No. I am an atheist. I do not follow any religion/teaching whatsoever. Honestly I also do not know why I do zazen. I cannot give you concrete answers. Moreover I know I should not have any concrete goals for doing zazen either. After all, it is just sitting in silence isn't it? Not trying to achieve anything, a state of mind that is so different than what has always been taught to me. However I can say this: I like it. I love my dojo. I like going there and meeting the people there. I like sitting in stillness and I like "not trying" for a change. In my life I am always so busy with "improving" myself, "changing" and "trying hard". "working for a goal". In zazen I let go of all these, or maybe, I don't. I just sit there aware of all my inner struggles and my environment. That's all. I just like doing zazen. Simple as that.