Disappearing Through The Practice

I came across this quote today, from Maurine Stuart, Zen master of the Cambridge Buddhist Association, writing in Subtle Sound, 
“The essence of our practice is forgetting the self. As we become less self-conscious, we become more open and more warmly present, and what we discover as this melting down takes place is that what we really are is the pure, clear, lighted mind itself—nothing else. So the . . . goal of our practice is to conduct our lives from this clear, lighted mind, this always just-beginning mind.” 

In this hyper Facebook/twitter/instagram/internet world, it seems like everyone is trying to draw attention to themselves. 

“Look at me! Look at Me!” 

There is this collective competition to be seen, to be heard. As both a writer and a musician, I of course want to be seen and heard. This is my vocation after all, to communicate with words and sound. This becomes a conundrum for me. 

The path is the path…

Self promotion is never easy

I need to promote what I do, but I try to do it in a way that promotes the work more than the person. I see others who everyday seem to send something out that begs, “Look at me!” I strive to adhere to the Buddhist idea of “We are in training to be nobody special.”

So I try to just do what I do, letting my work speak for itself. I have always believed that my work is more important than I am. I always hope that my writing and music will connect with others and in some way, help them move forward on their own path, either as inspiration, or just keeping them company on the journey. 

And what helps is my practice. 

I work on my art.

I devote myself to it. 
I strive to improve what I do each day.

And I try not to take myself so seriously, because just when you think you are it, you discover someone who is more it than you. And then you try to be even more it, and someone else comes along who is it yet even more, and the circle goes on and on.

And I am so far from perfect. Sometimes I struggle with the thought that, if I disappear, am nothing special, does that call attention to myself, or make me special? There is no real answer to that except to keep doing my practice. 

I chop wood, carry water, play gongs, write words, walk along the path. 

There is nothing else I can do except to be myself, and to be nobody special.

~ MB


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