February 9, 2007

Am I Getting It?

I think I'm finally starting to "get" Zen Buddhism. I say that because I started reading Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life by Thich Nhat Hanh this week. And most of the stuff I read, it was "old news". In other words, it all sounds familiar.

I'm trying to avoid mindlessly following the "teachings" of Zen. Being mindful about mindfulness, one would say. Always connected with why I like it so much, beyond the fact that it sounds good on paper.

I also find, that the more I like Zen, the more I appreciate the many other religious philosophies out there, even if I might not like Zen practice.

And that's where I bump heads with Zen and Buddhism in general. I question the practice, of meditation and not eating meat, for example. By questioning it, I make sure that the practice is mine, the way that makes sense to what I believe. And that tradition is not a good enough reason.

I guess I practice my own version of Zen, inspired by the teachers. And when I "get" Zen, maybe it means that I don't feel like it belongs to "those Buddhists" anymore. I feel like it belongs to me, although different than the Zen that belongs to others.

And if my Zen doesn't look exactly like someone else's Zen, and my spirituality doesn't look exactly like someone else's, I still feel connected. I still feel like I "get it".

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