Our dominant culture in the West seems almost devoid of ceremony. If there is a ritual, it would be in unboxing an Amazon package. We gulp our coffee. I sit in Zazen, too often, not in reverence for the eternal position, but as an item to check off on a daily list of them. The connection to the eternal, the collective wisdom of our ancestors, is frayed.
When we say we want change, on a societal or personal level, we mean only certain types. I mean, I want to be a “better person”, but I’d prefer to skip the bifocals if that’s cool. Change in that direction is scary, for it reminds us of our own ephemerality.
It’s December, our favourite CEC theme: “Fuck it”.
Yes. Rescue me please from my precious pieties and grown-up self-regard.
And all the hand-wringing about “getting it right.” The tut-tutting on meditation postures and the microschools of thought on which subcontinental strand of Buddhism is most pure.
Truly: Fuck it.
That’s why I think the shared sentiment we are sitting with during these strange times isn’t grief, but heartbreak. We haven’t lost anything that was true to begin with, at least for good. Sure, we were infatuated with a future that would never love us back, a past that could never come closer. In our swooning for things that would never be, we scorned a gentler truth: the only love we had ever known, is beating through us and all living things each moment, calling out to us, again and again, like Mary Oliver’s wild geese.