Friday, October 19, 2012

When Opportunity Knocks at the Zen Door of Awakening

Opportunity happens when it happens.  Sometimes it's when we want it to happen and the timing seems perfect.  Other times, although we sense it is a great opportunity, the timing seems wrong.  We doubt the opportunity and whether we should take it. 

But we should take it, despite the obstacles that might appear to be in our way.  Most of those imaginary impediments are own mental machinations, our monkey mind.  We expect things to be perfect and when they aren't we get angry at or anxious with the moment.  We question the validity of and verisimilitude of now.   However, we need to set aside all of our attachments and expectations for what the opportunity should be and let it emerge naturally, with all of its inherent chaos, complications, and complexity.  

Because of this messiness, we may not realize that the opportunity is the perfect thing to happen in our lives.  But opportunity always happens at the right time.  Like every moment, opportunity is the interconnected present moment created by our  past and shaping our future.  It always happens because, whether we realize it or not, opportunity is teaching us something we need to learn in life.    

Ezra Bayda, head teacher at the Zen Center of San Diego states in his book, Saying Yes to Life (Even the Difficult Parts), “The Zen mind speaks with strength, saying 'Just do it!'  The Zen heart speaks softly, saying 'Just let it be.'”

So we must balance “just do it!” and “just let it be” to reside and abide in the moment.  The two pop culture axioms are the twenty first century yang and yin of awareness.  Our postmodern koan.  If we can move forward in the moment with this equilibrium then we can accept and appreciate the present moment, awaking to and acting upon what life—this opportunity—is teaching us. As Ezra Bayda also states in his book, “Everything that happens offers an opportunity to awaken.”  So we take the opportunity because we know that by doing it and going through with it, we will awaken to the moment and to our lives.  This is the practice, the process, and the product of Zen. 

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