Thursday, July 17, 2008


I have been noticing that no matter how ardently I try to fully accept the premise of my own impending death for this practice, there is some incorrigible portion of my mind, languidly leaning against the wall saying "Oh, Puh-LEEZE!" and "C'mon... get real!" and other such assorted comments...

The thing is this; That border between life and death is also a border that excludes any type of information from returning to us from those who have already passed from this life. The very moment of death renders the subject of that death utterly incapable of communicating the experience to those of us who are still living.

So.. we simply don't know what to expect.... we dont know what it is to die. We don't even know precisely what death is, or the exact moment when it occurs... we only just sorta, kinda know.... and that isn't enough.

And *this* my friends, is the very definition of horror.

At its most fundamental level, Horror is, to my best understanding, the inability to communicate... period! Without this isolation from other human beings, there IS NO horror story.

You are buried alive, pounded and tearing at the inside of your coffin... but nobody can hear you scream.

You are trapped within a building/house/dungeon/laboratory/spaceship/what-have-you... probably being stalked by something (something bad!) - and either; a. You cannot communicate with others, or; b. They refuse to believe you.

This is horror.

Death, at least insomuch as I can apprehend it, intellectually, is, at a very basic level, an inability to communicate. And yet, here I am.. communicating each day...

.. so... what do I do with that??

I think that I must simply recognize that a practice is a practice... and an experience is an experience. Furthermore, when an experience is a singularity (so far as we now know..) such as death... well, you can only come so close to your mark.

I don't think that my problem is with my practice... just as so often our problems are not with our life, or our circumstances; but with the way that we are perceiving our life, or our circumstances, and in the way that we are comparing the reality of our life, or of our current circumstances with our pre-conceived notions and expectations of how those circumstances, or how our life should be playing out. It is in the gap between the two that we create our own suffering.

My problem is not my practice, but my expectations regarding what my practice should or should not be. So, once again, I must open my heart to the reality of the circumstances precisely as they are in all of their flawed actuality.

The practice is working just fine... it is my mind that throwing blocks in front of me. I suspect that my mind is appalled and repulsed at the very notion of its own mortality... or at least of the mortality of the physical body in which it exists.

Horror is the mind being confined to itself... without the benefit of communicating with other minds.....

... sounds a little bit like Zazen to me!

I wonder if that's why so many first time visitors to the Zendo are never seen again??

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