Archive for October 2nd, 2010

OK, it’s done. As I have talked about before I have made the decision to be as open about myself as possible and to tell all of my family and friends about how Buddhism has influenced me and allowed me to make this journey that I’m on. Today I spent a significant amount of time writing a letter to my mom. In it, I tell her about where I have been coming from and where I am now and how and why I got there. I haven’t sent it to her yet but I will be sending it soon. For now, I’m waiting for my emotions to calm back down before I send it to her.

I try to post at least once a day here on my blog and I can knock out a post of hundreds of words in just a few minutes but I spent hours on this letter and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever written. It came in at nearly 3000 words and was five pages long. As I said to my wife earlier today, I wish I could keep the entire world at an intellectual distance so that I wouldn’t have to deal with the emotional messiness of life. Wouldn’t it be easier that way? The logical and Spock-like part of my brain tells me yes but the emotional Kirk-like side of my brain tells me that I’d be missing out on way too much to make it worth it.

Strong emotions can be very confusing for me. I never really feel like I know what to do with them. It’s like wearing a suit of clothes that just doesn’t fit. They just feel weird and a little uncomfortable. Right now I feel my insides twisting up like they want to become a part of my outsides. It’s not fear or despair or anything, it’s more of the emotional equivalent of how my body feels when I’ve spent a long time at the gym: worn out, breathing hard with a pounding heart. The funny thing is I think I’d know how to handle things if I was just scared to tell my mother what I need to tell her. I could handle scared. Right now, I’d welcome scared. I don’t know what name goes along with what I’m feeling right now. What genus and species of emotion is it that I’m experiencing right now? If only I could classify it I think I’d be better off.

So I find myself asking the age old Zen question, “what is this?” Usually I can answer that question but right now I really can’t. For now I think I’ll just go into the kitchen and clean and straighten things up so that I can start trying to come up with some new recipes tomorrow. Then I’ll probably sit in meditation for a while. After I’ve had a good night’s sleep, I think I’ll read through the letter once again (for the 50th time) and make sure that it still sounds good. If it does, I’ll be sending it off and being thankful that I’m 1000 miles away. There are about five other things I’d like to be writing about at this moment but I couldn’t do it. Instead, I offer up this rambling and emotionally messy post without a resolution. Life’s like that sometimes and I’ll keep trying to learn to deal with it.

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When you begin to explore Zen, you are quickly immersed in a certain type of aesthetic. Zen art and design is pure and simple and has a beauty that is unique and recognizable the world over. I have always loved the cleanliness and beauty of Zen artwork and thanks to some friends who are architects I learned to love things whose form and function was tied together in a way so obvious that you can’t help but wonder why no one has done it before. This morning, I think I may have found a perfect example of simplicity and purity of design married with a form uniquely suited to purpose. A picture is worth a thousand words and a video is made up of thousands of pictures so it’s worth millions of words right? If seeing the following video sends you to a state of pure and perfect enlightenment, you may thank me later. For now, just enjoy.

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