Monday, March 28, 2011

Learning more and less, day by day.

I've recently (read as: over a period of probably about half a year) gotten back into Zen practice, in a big way. Or a little way. That's the thing. Zen is suppposed to be a transmission outside of scripture, without letters and words. That's what makes it fascinating to me when people write about it. How can you use any kind of language to describe something that by the Buddha's own account exists outside of the influence of words? People try to do it anyways, and it usually ends up in a confusing jumble of non-words and gibberish. The idea of no-thing instead of nothing and concentrating on awareness without using thoughts seems absurd to most people, even moreso when you only read about it.

I've read the koans, and tried to meditate on them, tried to concentrate on them without thinking. Tried to exist without outside influence, tried to sit and just "be". I think I'm at a stage where I need to find a good teacher. I've exhausted my book resources. There is nothing left to learn about Zen, only to do. This is kind of hard for me. I'm such a scientific-minded person that it feels really strange for me to not try to study something objectively. But there are no theses or scholarly articles about Zen. Sure, there are articles about experiences with Zen, but nothing concrete, because it's impossible to study from the "outside", as it were.

As much as I would love to be able to objectively study Zen, I am always reminded that in a monastery, doing such a thing would inevitably result in a swift whack to the head from a master. It goes against the very nature of the thing.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Get back to normal.

I'm usually a very calm individual. Rational, intelligent, funny, entertaining, a fun person to be around. Those are the ways people usually describe me. No one ever associates me with anger, because even if I am angry sometimes, I can just let it go, because the mundane shit in life isn't worth getting actually upset over.

Every once in a while, however, something hits a chord in me. Now I'm not sure whether the times when that happens are the result of other things I never dealt with, or if it's just sort of a "perfect storm" scenario. Either way, it is genuinely frightening when I let it all go. I try not to do that, but sometimes it happens. It scares me, and it scares other people. I'm an imposing figure. Not especially tall, but with a solid frame and fairly muscular. When I get angry, I yell. I already have a very deep voice and when I yell you can hear it from almost anywhere on my block. I think this may go back to the whole I don't deal with my anger effectively thing. I don't even get angry or annoyed on a regular basis anymore. I get full on rage every once in a great while.

Usually, I can ignore a problem. It works for me. Acknowledge that something is making me angry and let it pass me by. Observe the issue at hand but don't attach myself to it. Well fuck. I don't know if I'm just in some "super sensitive to that shit right now" mode of thought at the moment or what (Super moon tomorrow, you guys!) but there has been a lot of shit recently and it seems like I have a lot of backed up anger in my system right now. I think it's the combo of the end of term, everybody being in close quarters all the time (the roommates aren't in rehearsals as much so I don't get my "me-time").

Also a huge factor in this is that my mother's stepfather died a couple days ago. It's just hitting me right now, really. I hadn't even seen him in a couple years, but I miss him like crazy. My mother's biological father died when she was a teenager. Same with my dad. Bill was the only grandfather figure I ever knew and that just makes it hit harder for me. He was the ideal of what a man should be when I was young, and I think I've been trying to live up to what he was my entire life. He was big, ballsy, manly Texan. He had a booming voice and the biggest heart you could ever imagine. I remember when his wife died, he shut himself off from the world for a while. However unhealthy that may be, I thought it was the strongest image in the world. A man, alone to confront his demons, by his own choice. I still admire his strength of mind and character. He always had time to see his grandkids, and I loved every minute of it. I never got to see him as much as I wanted to, but it seemed like a weakness to express that I missed him at the time. We were real men. We didn't need other people to make us feel good. We had pride and confidence in ourselves and that was all we needed. I think in a sense I still deeply believe that. Every once in a while I have a deep longing to be alone in the world. I want to be completely alone with my thoughts. Maybe I need to try to find out who I really am on a deeper level. I'm fairly confident in how I see myself, but there is always more to be found.
Maybe I'll go survival camping again soon. Just me and the woods.

One last thing that I won't really talk about. A couple recent events in particular have lead to me losing a little faith in someone I consider a good friend, and that is very sad.

I'm a little less angry now, and a little more sad. I think I'm going to go try to meditate before bed.

I hate stoners.

Okay, blog. Time for me to let off a little steam. I hate stoners. Hate, hate, hate. Not because I don't like them as people, I have a lot of really good friends who smoke a lot of weed. I don't smoke weed for my own reasons, but that is beside the point. I hate the way stoners get obsessed about weed. I hate how they get so excited when they have it, and I hate how whiny and mopey they are when they don't have it. The whole strain naming thing, too. I hate that with and endless passion, it's just one of those things that gets under my skin in a way that nothing else can really emulate. First off, mister dealer, you aren't a botanist. You haven't reported your "new hybrid" to any sort of marijuana cultivation committee (because there isn't one), you probably can't verify any kind of pedigree, because you just bought it from some guy who bought it from some other guy who might have grown it but most likely bought it from another guy.

To me, drugs are the coward's way out. I'm not trying to sound high and mighty, I've done enough drugs in my life, some I like, and some I don't. But really, I cannot fathom how lazy somebody must be to smoke weed every single god damn day. How is it so scary to be spending time with your own brain that you have to introduce some foreign chemical into your blood stream just to have fun? That is absurdity to me. Absolute, fucking absurdity.

Also, I hate all the little toys stoners buy. Pipes, bongs, vaporizers, grinders, rollers, jars, other stupid shit. Why the hell do you need all of that? And why so many of them? I can see the need for some of these things, but do so many of the stoners I know have two or more of each of these things?

Fuck it. I thought I could just rant for a while and get some anger out of my system, but no. I ranted, and I'm still angry. I'm fuming. I wanna yell at people, like hard. Yell and scream and actually scare people.