See, I'm trying!

A few interesting things are happening. Hopefully I'll be able to post specifics soon, but I don't want to speak out of turn before things are finalized. What I can say is that I'm currently working on a "class/program" offering for my sangha that will involve movie nights and other media. It really does look to be shaping up into something rather cool. The bit I won't talk about yet involves the appearance of a certain blogger and writer who may be showing up to participate in one of them. This is cool, but a bit unnerving at the same time.

I'm starting to go deeper into my practice, and it's helping me. I feel more grounded. I feel more balanced. Yet at the same time, I'm rather scared. I took a year off of my Zen practice a while ago, to "feel out" if I really wanted to go in this direction. I came back after realizing that it was about the only thing that actually helped me. But there is still this lingering question. It's not "will this help?" or "is this worth it?"; it's more "can I do this?" Zen requires so much of you, and I'll admit that in my life I've not been the greatest when it comes to committing to something and seeing it through. But at the same time, the things I've committed to in my practice--the service to my sangha, mostly--come more easily than many things I've endeavored to do in the past. That leads me to believe that I'm tasting something different. But the idea of this level of commitment scares the bujeebus out of me. The mere truth of the fact that I am seriously considering monasticism as a life path is, uh... scary.

I have this kid in the SG:Buddhism group--some copper-banded* university student in the Netherlands--who is all over me with his zen-ness. It does get to me a bit on the ego level, I'll admit; some twenty-something telling me that I have no grasp of Zen. That having been said, what gets to me the most is the fact that people will read this person's ideas and come away with a really incorrect idea of Zen. He's comingling Zen with Existentialism. I love this bit...

ZT I feel your understanding of zen is heavily influenced by buddhism as a whole. While this may be constructive to most sects of buddhism it is not for Zen. In fact it is the exact opposite for Zen. Having preconcieved notions of what Zen is or what Zen means is counterproductive to your experience of it.

Zen is spiritual if you do not feel that way perhaps you are doing something wrong? Perhaps you think it to be something it is not?

I am willing to wager 100 Euro that this kid has never done sanzen, and 100 more that he never will. I don't mean to sound all pissy and negative about the whole thing, but at the same time...

I don't purport to know it all. I'm working hard on not coming off like I do, which I know sometimes happens. But at the same time, I am not ashamed that I know what I know. What bothers me the most is that this kind of stuff still bothers me. I went back to SG because I thought it could once again be a good outlet for my dharma practice. I am now questioning that decision...