Trusting Self

Zen Buddhist nun Bonnie Myotai Sensei discussed the process she underwent as she took her vows and gave over her life over to the Sanga.  In this interview she commented particularly about joining a monastic practice that was both centuries old and male-dominated.

She said that her decision involved:

“… learning to trust the Self in the deepest, most profound way. To not follow, by giving away your power yet, to be willing to ‘not know’ — it is both incredibly rich and incredibly difficult.”

This brings to mind some of the feelings associated with my decision to move forward, consciously and intensely, into the next phase of my life.  This commitment was not only selfish, but consciously excluded certain other life activities and friendships.  In addition, it meant that I was jumping from areas were I had high degrees of experience, expertise and success into others where I had little.  Or none.

Professionally I had been a successful businessman but I did not know much — if anything — about being a martial artist, a writer, my own aging process or my view of spirituality.

I put my trust in poets, writers, and martial artists… allowing myself to be led, directed and taught by their activities. One of the challenges is to stay with an activity that gets easier (to not ‘get bored’) and to stay with another that is challenging. 

The notion of ‘staying in place’ and ‘letting things happen over time’ means having to stand still and reject any impulse to simply quit.  It also means rejecting the voice that says things like, “you’re too old”, “this is stupid”, and “why are you doing these things when you could just sit back and chill”?  (NOTE:  That voice becomes a bit harder to ignore when it says “I’m about to throw up right on this mat” – especially when it is correct!)

One question arose again and again.  “Why are you doing this and just who you think you are?”

My answer is to honor my own commitment to give these activities full attention, best effort and enough time.  I wonder which, if any, will spark my heart and develop into a fire?

Anything new requires an intense desire to give the self over to the journey.  We must decide to believe that our samurai guides, guardian angels, writers and of course, our own hearts are asking simply asking us to simply go along on a journey.  To follow without giving away our power, and to not know.


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