So the first principle of the Zen cook is that we already have everything we need. If we look closely at our lives, we will find that we have all the ingredients we need to prepare the supreme meal. At every moment, we simply take the ingredients at hand and make the best meal we can. It doesn't matter how much or how little we have. The Zen cook just looks at what is available and starts with that.
- Roshi Bernie Glassman, Instructions to the Cook
* * *
What fucks us is the mistaken assumption that there'll be time enough, that things will be better tomorrow, that the time's not right, the trial too deep, resources too few, that we can afford to postpone for a even a moment the business of being present in our lives because we promise we'll get to it - eventually. We excuse our mis-deeds, justify out lethargy and inaction, refuse the balm of being alive to the moment and so slide, slide, slide a bit further down a hole that we never notice is closing in on us. Why? Because we place the agency of our redemption, happiness, acceptance and solace in the future where we can never reach it.
We are fools for this shit.
* * *
I found this the other day: The point is to gather your resources, do the best you can, and to pursue whatever it is you love to do with an intensity and a resilience and a passion.
But we don't do that, do we? We judge our resources too puny, our training inadequate, our desire is more wish than fire and we sit on the riverbank and keep our toes dry. We fear failing, humiliating ourselves in front of others, being found to be unequal to the task. But, dude, living like this your life is a constant humiliation to yourself! Fail large my love. Face plant and face plant again. What else is there to do? What else is eternity for? Our lives are to be used, not preserved. We don't last forever. If we're lucky we get 7 or 8 decades. What the living holy fuck are you waiting for?
You were made to find out what you can do with that strip of time, but you fear it, no? You fear that using what you have will either hurry your end, or leave you without anything to keep you warm at night. Right? Here's the news: a) your end is hurrying toward you anyway, so fuck it, and b) you were born with all you need to find out what it is like to be here - nothing more, nothing less.
Intensity, resilience and passion are the Father, Son and Holy Ghost of being alive, of being present, of being awake to love, to the genius of your love, your service, your faith and communion with this life. It is in you - that genius for life is in you right now waiting for you to recognize it and live by it. Everyday the glory is waiting to emerge from its debasement.
Isn't it time to be done with the fears that have held you still? You are the gold, the glory, the vital breath, the thing the universe has conspired to bring into being. Enough shitting on your gifts. Enough.
* * *
Everything you need is at hand right now. You need nothing more. There is no thing for you to wait on. Take a look at what is at hand. Do not judge it against anything else in this world. Look at what you do have and begin. It will be enough. It will be more than enough. Tend it. Respect it. Use it. You will need every ounce of your passion and resilience to make your way. It is unfair, unjust and unkind out here. It is also the only place where your love can find its expression and so answer and so overwhelm what is difficult, painful and sad. This is the way you unfuck what is fucked in your life.
Stasis is not an answer. Stasis is practicing for the grave and of that, and that only, there is time enough.
* * *