Was reading Jes Lascasse’s blog here, and after a few messages back and forth with her, was really moved by her perspective on meditiation.. Basically, from what I’ve gleaned, she’s been struggling with keeping Zen, or “Empty Minded”, when trying to meditate. She’s invested in this technique for around a year, and still finds it difficult to clear her mind space.. Realizing that this journey isn’t providing her with any tangible benefit, she has instead shifted the focus across to concentrating on those that she wishes love and blessings upon. She visualises beams of love extending from her heart to theirs. By choosing this focus, she can easily clear all other thoughts, and lets her benefit from meditation. While this defies the classic Zen perspective of a blank mind, aka embracing the Void (Śūnyatā [Chinese]/Kū[Japanese]), or the 5th element…
For her, this is enough of a focus to seek benefits from the areas she wishes to draw from. The reason this works for Jes, is because her primary philosophy relies on Love as a primary, if not *the* primary, emotion, or driving force. And this is what led me to this post.
Its really tough to be 100% strict on whatever path we choose to follow. We aren’t all Buddhist monks in a monastery somewhere in China (well, chances are, if you read this, you aren’t even remotely close). We all live everyday lives, with everyday jobs, and suffer everyday stresses. By transforming her logic into “love-gic”, Jes is able to “transcend”, and move past her obstacles.
For me, however, it isn’t so easy. I strive to be as 100% authentic, accurate, and well, as anal retentive as possible! This stems from my desire to stay as close to the pure ideal as possible. When it comes to my previous drug addiction, its black or white. I’m either clean or not. I try to see that same for my Zen path. This leads me to sabotage a great deal of my journey, as its next to impossible to not stray somewhat, especially based on the society within which I live. And there’s a good chance that you, dear reader, fall into the same culture and similar social structure as I do.
This dilemma doesn’t discourage me however. It merely acts as a strict filter, a stalwart, unyielding companion, to the decisions I make. I’d love to combine logic with my emotional impulses, and be done with it, moving toward a unified pattern. But the perfectionist in me doesn’t allow for such a combination. Truly, I am jealous of Jes, and this breakthrough that she has attained, as not only is she happy with this result, this combination, but she is content that the progress she has made provides a new section on her foundation, another pillar that she can lean upon on her journey.
For me it merely serves as a lesson; an integral, powerful lesson. Not everyone’s path is the same. Not everyone needs to be rigid. She has taught me that my path need not necessarily be black or white. Instead, I can modify it to suit my own life, my own moral beliefs. But really the primary lesson is that if I do end up changing anything from the black and white norm within which I see as ideal, that I have to be ok with this deviation.
Really, within this deviation is my salvation… it’s the next step to transcendence. And that is the goal of every path, no matter what name you assign it.