How Do You Disappear?

At the zendo on Sunday there was a new monk, sent by Roshi to practice at our zendo and to learn rolfing from Philosophy Monk. He said a few words after zazen, and asked the very evocative question: How do you disappear?

As with most koans, this question has a number of resonances for me: there is an ongoing tension at work over some basic strategy and vision issues. Basically I see one thing and one of my colleagues sees another. Of course it gets polarized and of course I get trapped in it. So the question, How do you disappear? has some interesting implications for me.

I was late getting to the zendo because The Cop got in late from night shift and wanted to talk a bit about a fatal accident he responded to. Transitions from life to death always affect me, so I had those feelings inside me when New Monk asked the question. Zen masters always tell practitioners to work hard, all the time, to reach enlightenment, because you never know how long your opportunity will be.

Once, on the third afternoon of a retreat, when everyone was tired tired tired, Philosophy Monk suddenly shouted really loudly, “Wake up!” It scared the heck out of me. And then I went back to being exhausted. Bad zen lady. He was compassionate in his action, but I didn’t take him up on it.

So I continue to muddle along. That said, sitting practice feels so easy. I will curse myself for saying that, no doubt, when it changes. But for now, sitting is a delight. Thanks to Ashtanga. Sitting Burmese style for two 25 minute sessions is pretty much like…oh, maybe a 40 breath kurmasana that you actually enjoy. LOL! Funny to try to figure out the exchange rate.

This morning was back to Mysore practice. Volleyball Guy, in his own zen wisdom, gave me a super-adjustment in marichy C. Like, an Exorcist-strength adjustment. And then, during marichy D, which is what I am a little over-focused on recently, he just stood there and talked about the pose in relation to me as an individual (versus about me in relation to the pose). And then I got my heels up off the floor in kurmasana. Kinda without even trying. Mostly because I wasn’t thinking about it. Good zen lady.

Practice, practice, practice, and maybe one day I will disappear and wake up.


One Response

  1. Huh! This is kinda funny. Been following your blog for a while. You write and entry called “How do you disappear” then stop writing for 5 days……. perhaps you’ve mastered the art of disappearing…… ahhh the mind boggles….

    Happy Easter!

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