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Everyday Zen - 2

Everyday Zen - 2

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Published by K.PANDU RANGA REDDY
Deals with the most important spiritual practice of all--how we can live awakened in our daily life.

Beck Joko Charlotte, Zen teacher, is the head of the San Diego Zen Center. In the 1960s she trained under Hakuun Yasutani Roshi and Soen Nakagawa Roshi. In 1978 she became the 3rd Dharma heir of Taizen Maezumi Roshi of the Zen Center of Los Angeles. Currently she teaches in San Diego, USA and Australia (mainly at the Brisbane Zen Group). She is an author of a book Everyday Zen: Love and Work.
Deals with the most important spiritual practice of all--how we can live awakened in our daily life.

Beck Joko Charlotte, Zen teacher, is the head of the San Diego Zen Center. In the 1960s she trained under Hakuun Yasutani Roshi and Soen Nakagawa Roshi. In 1978 she became the 3rd Dharma heir of Taizen Maezumi Roshi of the Zen Center of Los Angeles. Currently she teaches in San Diego, USA and Australia (mainly at the Brisbane Zen Group). She is an author of a book Everyday Zen: Love and Work.

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Published by: K.PANDU RANGA REDDY on Jun 23, 2009
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07/12/2010

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Everyday Zen
By
Charlotte Joko Beck 
When we find our life unpleasant or unfulfilling, we try to escape the unpleasantnessby various subtle escape mechanisms. In such attempts we are dealing with our livesas if there am me and then there’s life outside me. As long as we approach our livesin this way we will bend all of our efforts to finding something or somebody else tohandle our lives for us. We may look for a lover, a teacher, a religion, a center -something, or somebody, somewhere, to handle our difficulties for us. As long as wesee our lives in this dualistic fashion we fool ourselves and believe that we need notpay any price for a realized life. All of us share this delusion to varying degrees; andit leads only to misery in our lives.As our practice proceeds the delusion comes under attack; and slowly we begin tosense (horror of horrors!) that we must pay the price of freedom. No one butourselves can ever pay it for us. When I realized that truth it was one of the strongshocks of my lifetime. I finallyunderstood one day that only I can pay the price of realization: no one, no one at all,can do this for me. Until we understand that hard truth, we will continue to resistpractice; and even after we see it our resistance will continue, though not as much. Itis hard to maintain the knowledge in its full power.What are some of the ways in which we evade paying the price? The chief one is ourconstant unwillingness to bear our own suffering. We think we can evade it orignore it or think it away, or persuade someone else to remove it for us. We feel thatwe are entitled not to feel the pain of our lives. We fervently hope and scheme forsomeone else - our husband or wife, our lover, our child - to handle our pain for us.Such resistance undermines our practice: ‘I won’t sit this morning; I just don’t feellike it.’ ‘I’m not going to do sesshin; I don’t like what comes up.’ ‘I won’t hold mytongue when I’m angry why should I? We waver in our integrity when it is painfulto maintain it. We give up on a relationship that no longer fulfills our dreams.Underneath all of these evasions is the belief that others should serve us; othersshould clean up the messes we make.In fact, nobody - but nobody - can experience our lives for us; nobody can feel for usthe pain that life inevitably brings. The price we must pay to grow is always in frontof our noses; and we never have a real practice until we realize our unwillingness topay any price at all. Sadly, as long as we evade, we shut ourselves off from thewonder of what life is and what we are. We try to hold on to people who we think 

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