I have no illusions that I am living my life “right.” I am suscepitble to all manner of selfishness, pettiness, self-centeredness, and “victimhood.” I get angry too easily, resentful too quickly, and hurt too readily. I get frustrated that I am not the center of everyone else’s world, and that my feelings are not the primary focus of those around me. I get frustrated by silly little problems (a broken lock on the office bathroom door), and feel put-upon by all the “big issues” I have to address.
But I do try.
In my embracing of the Buddhist path I do (at least intellectually) understand that all the above described feelings are the result of attachment. That, in essence, all of this suffering is the result of my desire for a perfect, unending, joy. That when I engage and indulge my selfishness, I am merely feeding this desire for things to be other than they are, and other than the can ever possibly be.
Further, in embracing the Buddhist path I do understand, and deeply believe, that the solution to this sufferring is continuing to follow the path and the practice of zazen. In sum, “I get it!” That is, at least, intellectually.
Oftentimes, however, this understanding and practice eludes me. My mind, and my desire for love, respect, and adulation beccome a storm that sweeps me up. I get lost in the feeling, “I’m really trying… shouldn’t I get some material reward? Shouldn’t I get some acknowledgement, some praise, some… well, something.” Again, intellectually, I know that none of those desires, if satisfied, will actually satisfy me. Like my daughter I will ask for “one more….” I know that any acknowledgement I get will be insufficiently sincere (in my eyes) to quench the thirst, any praise incomplete, and any “something” just not enough. But, my understanding alone, heartfelt as it may be, can’t lessen the tornado of desire. Like my desire for the latest electronic gizmo, getting it it will not make my life perfect and will not sate my thirst.
So, where does that leave me? Still suffering as I sit in meditation, still suffering as I study the path. Still disappointed that the world doesn’t bow to my “needs.” Still thirsty for more and still battered by the storm of my desires. Mindfulness eluding me.
I do know that this storm will pass. Like all things, as long as I continue on the path, as long as I don’t indulge and wallow in this thirst, as long as I stay in the moment (to the extent I can), it will eventually cease.
But some days I feel weary, and some days feel harder than others…