Meditation teacher Eknath Easwaran distinguished between two kinds of spiritual reading: instruction and inspiration. While he believes it makes sense to limit your instructions to one teacher/lineage/path, you can fruitfully read from all religious traditions for inspiration.
In that spirit, I offer gleanings from three Japanese Zen teachers I’ve recently encountered. Perhaps one of these passages will speak to you…
By meeting what you are faced with right now, though, in this very instant, completely without judgment or evaluation, you can transcend by far all question of cause and effect. You may be working in the kitchen or sweeping the garden or cleaning the toilet or laboring for somebody else, but you do it without consideration of its relative merit. That means simple doing with all your might, becoming one with whatever situation in which you find yourself in this instant. I would like for you to clearly know that there is this other way of living your life.
To believe in your teacher, in your seniors, in the tradition, is in other words, to believe in yourself. You must puzzle out your unripeness.
Again and again I returned to the take-off point; over and over I reiterated my original resolve. I believe that courage is upholding what you have once decided to do and enduring all troubles encountered along the way. To sustain and carry out that original intention—just this, in itself—is real courage. Read the rest of this entry »