A Zen Priest’s Five Pointers for Getting Over Yourself

A Zen Priest’s Five Pointers for Getting Over Yourself February 8, 2019

Ikkyu & the Courtesan

I’ve shared these points before. But, they seem worth returning to every now and again. A little Zen perspective on living a spiritual life here in the West. First, it counsels getting over various things that are not actually helpful. Then it suggests some ways to see the world and ourselves that maybe has some resonances with the way things actually are.

Here you go.

1) God isn’t a person. Get over it. There’s no need to project your image onto the sky. In fact it gets in the way. Rather, if you want to find the divine, open your eyes and open your heart. Or, as Thomas of blessed memory said Jesus said, “Split wood and I am there, lift up a stone and I am there.”

2) Your soul isn’t a passenger on a bus. It’s past time to get over yourself. Your soul is a relationship with life and death and the whole great mess. It’s like a mustard seed, the smallest of things, but if you cultivate it, it grows into a great bush and becomes a resting place for the birds of heaven.

3) You have a brain. And it is no different than your heart. Not one, not two. Learn to use it wisely. One good way is to regularly sit down, shut up, and pay attention. Oh, and be decent today. If you can’t do anything more, just don’t be a jerk. If you can, do something positive for someone or some part of the planet. It helps with that perspective thing.

4) Its good to remember you are as precious as the stars in heaven. You are absolutely unique. You will never be repeated. And, you’re as passing as the morning dew. Take care of yourself, it’s a sacred obligation to your mother and father and the holy one.

5) And one more thing. You can’t do it by yourself. We, every blessed one of us, we’re woven out of each other and the sacred earth. We exist only because of each other. We owe everything to another. Show a little respect.

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