Les Kaye

‘After starting meditation practice, many individuals encounter resistance to continue, even when they know – and have experienced – that practice is one of the best things they can do for their lives.   They are not aware of the reason for the resistance; it remains unrecognized by consciousness.  It has to do with the perceived “cost” of practice, what individuals feel they have to “give up” to get what they want.  They go through an unconscious  “cost versus value” tradeoff.   Fundamentally, people come to Zen practice out of a feeling to be more in touch with their spiritual nature.  But this intention gets short-circuited by the mind’s craving for comfort, excitement, entertainment, and fame.  Practice does not provide such things. Instead, what people first experience is boredom, which is not what they expected. And they do not  recognize that their boredom is not inherently negative – the mind is free of the cravings and so can be spiritually creative. It is an opportunity for hidden things to appear: our old habits and reactive tendencies that have been getting in our way, the inherent beauty of everything, and the wisdom that we never knew we had. So, many quit out of impatience and disappointment for not getting what they want. The best way to respond to boredom and disappointment is through determination to continue despite the feelings and to recall what brought us to practice in the first place.’ (from cuke.com)

Only to add, that during however many hundreds of hours I sat zazen at Tassajara, I had a lot of opportunities to work through boredom. Disappointment is not really something I struggled with, fortunately.


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