I'm hoping that I can use this blog more this year. I enjoy writing and I think it's a good place for me to face the resistance grounded some of my doubts - that is to say the feeling of "who cares what I have to say." This morning I'm thinking about the "blank slate" that a new year can offer. Of course, the new year is a artificial construction - there is nothing about today that magically wipes our doubts, fears, mistakes, or joys away - but ritual is good. I spent a few hours last night in meditation with my Zen group on a Zoom-based meditation retreat (rager, yes?). Some of the things that passed through my mind during that time had to do with resolutions. I'm not sure this feels like a year for resolutions. Let's just not make any sudden movements and see what's going on here. But, there is one element that occurred to me. At the end of our meditation sessions, our Sangha chants The Four Great Vows. These feel like a good place to start this year:
However innumerable all beings are, I vow to save them all.
However inexhaustible my delusions are, I vow to extinguish them all.
However immeasurable the Dharma Teachings are, I vow to master them all.
However endless the Buddha’s Way is, I vow to follow it completely.
I like these because, on first glance, they are unattainable. But, attainment is not the point, the practice is the point.
This feels like a good place for an artist to be in the times we currently live in.
Happy New Year, friends.