The following notes are transcribed from a audio talk by Peter Levitt for Centre of Gravity. I fell in love with this short talk. It means so much to me. Makes so much sense. I wanted to share it.
Zen spirit is about not letting things push you off your path. Meeting ‘it’ whatever it is all the way. It really doesn’t matter what you feel, you do it anyway. ‘Intimately’ means all the way. ‘Completely’ means all the way. You’ll soon relaise that your personal life is not very interesting after all. You may be entranced by it but soon you’ll realize that you haven’t done anything with your life, then you’ll have to do something else, and do it all the way.
A lot of times the problems that we have in our lives are caused only by our refusal to go all the way, they are not caused by anything else, they are not caused by any conditions that come at us, they only come when we refuse to meet those conditions all the way. A lot of the time we say ‘I can’t do that’ or ‘that’s not convenient’, what we’re really saying is, ‘I don’t really want to live 100%, I don’t really want to be here completely, I want a vacation from my life’ – a zen spirit doesn’t have a lot of room for that. Because we do it once, then we do it two times, then we do it three times, then it becomes our habit, then it becomes our way of life then we’re at 90 years old and say ‘what was that?’ Instead of having engaged every single moment that we can. So we turn delusion into enlightenment by going all the way. We turn hindrances into opportunities, by going all the way. Its about going 100% completely. Its about not ‘buying’ our story but recognizing the preciousness of every single moment in our lives. And when something does come, like a 4million pound bear or something like that, its faster, its bigger, its stronger, its smarter, its wilder and we are not going to get away from it. The only thing that can be done according to zen spirit is to wrap our arms around that bear and hold on, completely, until we become one with that bear, and that is going all the way too. And sometimes that bear is pretty tough. But when you think about we don’t really have much of a choice. When I think about where the obstacles and where the hindrances come from, by and large they come from our own refusal to engage with our life. Not from any other place.
When we say ‘I will, completely’, something happens inside of us, we become alive. The parts of use that have been dead wake up. And our aspiration to wake up wakes up, and waking up wakes up, if we go all the way through. We don’t have to be specialist human beings to do that. We actually have all the equipment already, right here, and its our nature to do it, its our nature to be alive. If you look at yourself and ask honestly, is any of me dead? You’ll find the answer’s no. None of you is dead, all of you is alive, but some of you is sleeping. Show me a dead part of you. You won’t find it. It’s not based on the usual type of personal willpower that we do this, there’s something about catching what the true spirit of our practice is, that takes care of it. So it’s not like you're in a battle against life and your going to win, that’s the wrong understanding. You give yourself away completely to the spirit and the spirit therefore gives you completely to yourself.
You've gone all the way.
You've gone all the way.