Charlotte Joko Beck in her book Everyday Zen wrote:
Sitting is something we do for a lifetime. There is no end to the opening up that is possible for a human being. Eventually we see that we are the limitless, boundless ground of the universe. Our job for the rest of our life is to open up into that immensity and to express it. Having more and more contact with this reality always brings compassion for others and changes our daily life. We live differently, work differently, relate to people differently. Zen is a lifelong study. It isn’t just sitting on a cushion for thirty or forty minutes a day. Our whole life becomes practice, twenty-four hours a day.
I appreciate Beck and her teachings of dharma in the context of American soil, and speaking into lives of people like me who try to practice as we live our ordinary lives.
My daughter woke up around 6am and we were in movement till she fell asleep for a nap. We went to a Christmas parade, and then a lunch. If my whole life is a practice, it includes seeing giant Santa balloons and finally being able to sit for 15 minutes while my daughter napped. I breathed and realized how sleepy and tired I was. Beck was practically a single mom and dedicated her life to the practice, but that’s her and this is me.
So here’s me sitting and writing another day. I keep coming back to my cushion.
Meditation Poem #10: Ordinary Life
I sit like the awakened one
midst Santa floating by