I can’t seem to focus on just one task at a time lately. I’ve got 2 or 3 books that I am in the middle of. I started organizing the office, and stopped after I did most of my desk. I started going through and organizing the basement, and stopped about an hour in.
I’ve been on a diet since January 1. We’re severely restricting carbs, and trying to eat more vegetables and fruit and much less junk. It’s working – I’ve lost a little over 4 lbs. so far. But today, I find myself hitting the wall. The lack of bread and potatoes is making me a grumpy bastard. Ok, more of a grumpy bastard than usual.
I had intended to start zazen (literally “seated meditation”) today, but my head’s not in it right now. Or, I’m just being lazy and making excuses (which is much more likely). I’ve been reading and studying zen practice for over a year now, and everything I have read makes a lot of sense to me. I had picked up one or two books back in 2011, but it was early in 2012 when I accidentally wandered into the “Eastern Thought” section of Books A Million that I came across two books that really jumped out at me.
The first was “Not Always So: Practicing The True Spirit Of Zen ” by Shunryu Suzuki. His other book, “Zen Mind, Beginners Mind” is widely considered one of the world’s most important books on Buddhism. I had a heck of a time finding that one in our local big box book stores, so I finally bought it on Amazon. But I digress… Not Always So was easy to read, and quite enlightening. It’s basically a series of transcripts of talks Suzki-roshi (roshi is an honorific title used for a highly venerated senior teacher in Zen Buddhism) gave at the San Francisco Zen Center, which he founded in 1962. It gave me lots to think about, and quite a few ideas about ways I could make changes to improve myself – something which I am sure many people would agree is necessary! I can’t recommend these books enough.
The other book was “Hardcore Zen: Punk Rock, Monster Movies, & the Truth about Reality” by Brad Warner. He’s a punk rock bass player and zen piest who’s originally from Wadsworth – right down the road from where I live. His writing, and the way he described zen really made me want to begin practicing zazen. I’ve since picked up his other 3 books, and I have enjoyed and learned from them all. He explains things in a very clear manner, and (perhaps this is because I am a musician as well) makes it sound very appealing.
So I just have to stop fucking around and do it.
Rehearsals for my show start back up Monday night. We have 24 rehearsals before we finally have an audience, but I am confident in this cast. Time to hit the ground running!