Sunday, May 31, 2009

The First Post - Why Zen Throw Down?

Okay, this is really the second post, but it's the first post where I'm actually writing something. The first post is my poem 'Zen Throw Down' (from 1995 or so), and I picked it because it sort of deals with what I want my blog to convey about me.

I guess I object to blogging because much of it seems so random. I'd like my blog to be about something, to have a plot (even if it's non-linear). I suppose day-to-day entries will seem pretty random but I hope that, looked at over a long period of time, they will document some sort of growth or trajectory for me as a person. That's what life's supposed to be, right?

When I was about thirteen, I started keeping journals with all my thoughts, activities, experiences, etc. It's incredible to go through them sometimes and see what I was doing or worrying about when I was fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, thirty, or thirty-five. There's a transformation over the years that I can read, and that makes me glad I kept them. I've stopped keeping journals in recent years, so maybe this blog can take the place of that.

Why Zen Throw Down? I often shy away from telling people I meditate or practice Zen. I feel it makes me seem like some new age wussy playing with rain sticks and listening to Enya while drawing pictures of fairies and dragons, and I'm so not like that. For me, Zen has been about finding the core of myself and learning how to ignore or eliminate everything in my life that is not tied to that. Zen is powerful stuff. For example, it's driving me to get back into martial arts again.

That's kind of what the poem is about. Being enlightened is not about being a narcoleptic om-chanting zombie, and most stuff I've read from ancient Zen Masters seems to confirm that. Enlightenment makes you an invincible bad ass, because there's nothing more powerful than knowing yourself. It gives you the courage and strength to shape the world and your life into what you want them to be and not get side-tracked by foolishness, things, or people that will never make you happy.

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