Being as I already am – Day 11

(from Everyday Zen by Charlotte Joko Beck)

“Practice is not about producing psychological change…[or] about intellectually knowing the physical nature of reality…[or] about achieving some blissful state…[or] about having or cultivating special powers…[or] about personal power…[or] about having nice feelings, happy feelings…[or] about some bodily state in which we are never ill, never hurt…[or] about achieving and omniscient state…[or] about being “spiritual”…[or] about highlighting all sorts of “good” qualities and getting rid of the so-called “bad” ones……..

Practice is very simple….Sitting is essentially a simplified space.  Our daily life is in constant movement: lots of things going on, lots of people talking, lots of events taking place.  In the middle of that, it’s very difficult to sense what we are in our life.  When we simplify the situation, when we take away the externals and remove ourselves from the ringing phone, the television, the people who visit us, the dog who needs a walk, we get a chance – which is absolutely the most valuable thing there is – to face ourselves.

I do not mean that we engage in self-analysis.  That’s not it either.  So what do we do?

Once we have assumed our best posture (which should be balanced, easy) we just sit there….notice your face for a moment.  Feel it.  Is it tense anywhere? Around the mouth, around the forehead.  Now move down a bit.  Notice your neck, just feel it.  Then your shoulders, your back, chest, abdominal area, your arms, thighs.  Keep feeling whatever you find.  And feel your breath as it comes and goes.  Don’t try to control it, just feel it….

Just experience it as it is.  Now just feel all of that.  If a car goes by outside, hear it. If a plane flies over, notice that….Just be that. That’s all you have to do, absolutely all you have to do: experience that, and just stay with it.”


I suppose there are countless forms of meditation, with this style of Zen meditation noted by Ms. Beck being just one of them.  But it was cool to read this – especially that list of what it’s not.  I certainly found myself stumbling at “it’s not about achieving some blissful state,” and “it’s not about highlighting all sorts of “good” qualities and getting rid of the so-called ‘bad’ ones.”

You mean I get to keep my bad qualities?  Woohooo for me!! (Someone tell my husband that my spiritual path is not failing simply because I’m not perfect yet!)

In all seriousness, it was really neat to see that this is just about being as I already am. Just being as fully present as I can be, as often as I can do it.  I’d heard it before, of course, but it rang clearer than usual.

And we take another step down our path…


~ by Julianna on January 18, 2009.

2 Responses to “Being as I already am – Day 11”

  1. it’s about getting comfortable with oneself, I think. Learning to quiet the relational self (the one the compares and contrasts all the time) and get back to who we Are. Stilling the mind, silence.

    one can discover some astonishing things about oneself through such ‘practice’ 🙂 one’s pulls and avoidances, ones inclinations. The mind throws up all sorts of matter for consideration.

    a journey into the inner heart of the self.


    • It’s fun to meet new people who pop onto this blog…I just took a brief look at your site and will spend more time looking around it soon…I have a ever-present streak of music-love in my heart, so just seeing your blog title was a treat! Thanks for stopping in and for the thoughtful comments. It’s a tremendous journey…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: