02 June 2012

Wait Wait… Don't Tell Me!

I do not know how the next bite of food I take will taste.

I do not know what sound I will hear in 30 seconds.

I do not know the next person I will be introduced to.

I do not know what illness I will get next, or how severe it will be.

I will never know which breath is, in point of fact, my last.

A dharma brother was fretting to me the other day about where Zen practice will take him.  I pointed out that he didn't even know where his feet will take him next, but he's not fretting about that.

I get it, though.  I used to be a planner.  I used to sketch out the broad outlines of my life for the next five, ten, fifteen years.  Looking back, I can say without hesitation that had I stuck with any – any – of those plans I would be a miserable man today. 

So what is this wanting to know what's next?  What is this drive to seek comfort in something that can only ever be a fiction?  What is this satisfaction we seem to get from thinking we actually do know what's just around the bend? 

Better yet: what is this, about which I can know nothing?  What is it?

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