Zoketsu Norman Fischer

‘Now, if you reflect on your sitting practice, just today, for instance, if you are sitting today, probably would agree that trying to control your mind does not work that well. Actually, when you decide that my mind is going to go this way, usually it goes the other way, and actually it’s not very skillful to try to control your mind. The more you try to control your mind, the more you are controlled. On the other hand, the more you let go and accept and allow, the more you are free. What is interesting about life is not about how often one is right, this is not the interesting thing about life, what’s interesting about life is that you grow. There is an endless possibility to learn about yourself and about life. And when you insist upon being right and insist upon being in control, you don’t learn much because you are not open to what else is happening. In your relationship, in your work, in dharma practice itself being open to the possibilities and always letting go, not trying to control is really the way. One learns not by thinking that one knows, but by recognizing that you don’t know. That’s when a new thought comes into your mind. Learning comes from not knowing, not from controlling, being willing to risk being wrong, being willing to be surprised. A mind that is willing and open is a mind that can learn.

And this is how we practice on your cushions, breathing into open space, and we’re all, although we might not feel this way, the truth is that we are all in a cooperative relationship, with all of the reality around us. In other words, it is not up to us to control things and bring about outcomes. We make effort, but we make effort in cooperation with other people and the world at large. When you know that you don’t feel the need to control and make everything go your way. It’s actually more interesting to find out what we happen. So one makes effort, sincere, strong effort with the feeling of openness, “What will happen?”’ (from the Everyday Zen website)

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