For the past year my meditation group has been reading Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind. It’s been the perfect book for this sort of setting. The chapters are short. We have enough time after zazen to read one out loud and then discuss it. Many times we would read a chapter and be like, “huh?” It was a very challenging read. I’m not sure I would have liked it as much if I had read it on my own and didn’t have the opportunity to discuss it with others.
We talked about this difficulty last night and how it was very tempting to turn away from it and read something else. But the challenging parts of it are what made us grow. And so I am very glad we stayed with it. I know I will read it again. Probably more than once. Each time I read it something new will be sparked within me. It is that kind of book. There is so much in there. And there is nothing in there. You know? It is so simple yet also very complex.
What Suzuki really drives home over and over again is this: Just sit. Shut up and just sit and breath. Don’t think too much about it. And, really, that is what Zen is all about. And that’s why I love it. It is so practical and down to earth. Yet so freaking life-changing if you do this one simple thing.
Nothing exists but momentarily in its present form and color. One thing flows into another and cannot be grasped. Before the rain stops we hear a bird. Even under the heavy snow we see snowdrops and some new growth. In the East I saw rhubarb already. In Japan in the spring we eat cucumbers.
– Suzuki, Shunryu; David Chadwick (2011-03-10). Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind (p. 134). Shambhala Publications. Kindle Edition.
P.S. The title of this post is a direct quote from my friend after we finished reading the last chapter. I love that we swear in our meditation group. 🙂 These are my people.