Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Is the goal of practice to have a disciplined and open mind?

I could care less what adjectives you put in front of your description of your
mind while you practice, what matters to me is if you can be there.(ooh we
are really disciplined and open now....we really have accomplished
something...) If you can give a drink to the thirsty, hit the mark, make a
difference. I could care less how disciplined and open your mind is ..or how
loudly your monkey mind is chattering. A conductor does not care how
beautiful you think the music is..he just wants you to hit the cymbals at the
right time...you are in the orchestra, the performance is not for you, but by
you...how much you appreciate the order of your mind does not matter a whit
to the audience. What matters to us is if you can hit the mark...not what
you think about while you hit it. If you need reason to hit the mark fine, if
you do not fine, just bang the damn cymbals when the time comes, and quit
trying to dazzle us with your footwork. It is just a distraction. We are
trying to listen to the music you are too busy thinking about to be making.
....just hit the damn cymbals....leave the why and wherefore and discipline
and openness to those who are just watching the show. Listen to me
now....one two three clang...one two three clang....one two three
clang....first you just do it....I mean ..how hard is that? what great
understanding do you need to do that?...you do not need a music education,
or to be able to complete the unfinished symphony before you play the
music...all you need to understand is one two three clang....why can't you do

Too many yeah buts and the concert is over before you even bang the cymbals
once and you missed the whole thing again, and you did not contribute at all
to the music of the spheres.

Oh I think I have it now...you want to be the conductor, (or have the
conductor's understanding) before you learn to bang the cymbals....I mean who
wants to be just another member of the percussion section?....well you got to
learn to play an instrument before you can lead the orchestra.......why not
start here?...one two three clang.....at least you would be contributing
something to the music of the spheres......which is more then all the yeah
buts (and the people standing in line for the one conductor position) in the
world have ever done. We have a conductor (Buddha) we do not need another
one..we do need someone to bang the cymbals though...are you ready yet?

Maybe if you just count one two three clang throughout the whole symphony the
openness and discipline will arrive all by themselves.....without a thought
or effort in their construction...you might just gain the makings of a real
musician as well, instead of just being a musical prodigy in your own mind.

Yeah but:
" My original point was that disciplined reasoning does have an
important role in Buddhist practice and study. "

My point still is disciplined reasoning just gets in the way of learning to
play the cymbals in the orchestra. I could care less about your lofty notions
of practice and study.......I would rather you just banged the cymbals at the
right time...at least you might actually gain some skill doing that.

In the temple in Japan they did not care if I undersood the sutra we were
chanting in some foreign language...I still had to learn to to bang the
mukugyo in time to lead the chant, and ring the bells a the right
time.....you have to be right there to do that........hmm you mean the
banging might be more important then the understanding?....wow ...who woulda
thunk? Maybe you have to be right there in the moment in order for the
openness and discipline to have a chance to form.....then you have a chance
to understand the sutra.

Maybe once you have played the music, it become easier to undertand what the
composer was creating. Maybe the understanding is just something extra. Maybe
just being the music is enough.

Be Well