What's It Like to Be a Zen Practitioner - #1

Probably need to change the title there to What's it Like For Me to be a Zen practioner.....

 I was asked the other day what is was like to be a Zen practitioner. My answer had to be no different to being a non-Zen practitioner I guess. I do the same things. I have the same desires now as I had before I "met" Zen some 30+ years ago. In the beginning I thought that I would become all-knowing, all powerful, but that is not the case at all and most Zen practitioners I talk to have similar tales to tell.

Zen meditation (zazen) can be painful as I uncover more and more of the barriers that have been erected by my conditioned mind.  Not that Zen is a method of changing that conditioning, it's more like a matter of choosing the way rather than having it chosen for me by society's "rules and regulations". I get to choose what the "right and wrong" of things in a natural way, rather than feeling them to be a "must".

Is to have desire is so wrong?   Ah… No… I didn't say that. Buddha discovered that desire is the source of all suffering. To desire not to desire, is still desire. Nothing wrong in desire. Nothing right in desire.  I do desire, and I am a witness to the karma of desiring as it unfolds.   More to come on  What's it Like to be a Zen Practitioner later… or not.


  1. The whole issue of desire was discussed at my church last week, with our minister making a distinction between the kind of desire that causes suffering and the kind that might be more like God signaling that its time for a change. Love this series on what its like to be a zen practitioner.

  2. Thanks for visiting and posting Charlotte. Making distinctions are necessary, but seem to hold us in the dichotomy of the mind. This is interesting as there is something subtly deeper about a connection between making distinctions and desire for change? :-)