The Awakened PodcastYou’re Body Spaceship

Student: I have challenge. I guess it’s more of an insight – well it’s a bit of both.

Zen master e: A challenging insight

Student: An insight about my challenge. It’s interesting that you talked about at the beginning about sucking at meditation. I find that this time of the year is a difficult time for me – going into the darkness.

And I find that more and more my, my practice is just trying to be present. Just trying to follow the breath and be in refuge in my sitting practice, I should say. People tell me that I carry it through the day. Look, the part I guess. Or present anyway.

But yeah I just find it, it’s interesting that I’m finally seeing this pattern over the last few years. There’s this time period, you know, it was tough for me when I was going through what I went through before it was a tough time here. So I think it’s carried through. It’s still just kind of working its way out. It’s easier every year. It gets easier, this time of year. It’s an interesting revelation to see that maybe this is that time of year where I really got to work on just caring for myself and showing self compassion So that’s sort of my insight/challenge,

Zen master e: Slash, hasn’t this been your teaching that you needed to embrace for a long long time. And this is all of our teachings as well right and like, yeah.

So a couple things right so we’re Canadian for those people listening to the podcast we’re in Canada, Toronto. Technically right now in Vaughan.

Yeah. And so, there’s a lot of things, a lot of influences that happen right at this time period. Be it the lack of sun, be it the cold weather, be it that you know that you now gotta take the extra 10 minutes to wrap up the little ones in snow suits, and the shoes and gloves and now it’s, it’s not easy. Right. Life isn’t easy, just in general. Throw Canadian winters on top of it. And it’s an extra beast, right, to wrangle and get our heads around and everything like this right.

And, this is something that all of us go through right?

Our schedules have to change. The time changes. I need to make time to, I needed to make time to go get snow tires on my car right. I need to drive differently. The drive at night is more difficult now.

It’s an ever adapting practice. And the practice in general helps us become sensitive to life and how we are connected to it.

And we believe and you have to look at the subtle beliefs.

From the minute that you wake up to the minute that you go to bed, is this body spaceship, the same?

That’s a good way to look at it.

You have a body spaceship.

Traveling through so called existence.

And this body spaceship isn’t separate from what we call life.

And this body spaceship is prone to the external elements and the internal elements.

They’re all – there’s no external and internal but…

But if we see that we have this body spaceship and it’s ever changing and it always needs – maintenance, it needs fuel, it needs upkeep.

You know, we can change the decals and the paint job on it right. We try to put in the good oil and everything but it leans to the left. Yeah, and this is just how it is – it’s always – it’s always leaning to the left. And that’s what we just work with. We just work with that, right?

And that certain times of year, especially right and this was the good thing, and probably something that, not probably, like we have gotten out of, is to be in harmony with the cycles of life.

This time of year, IS to go quiet. Is to go within. Is to go, keep it close with the home. You do less traveling less interactions because it’s harder to travel, because the roads are full up with snow and the conditions have changed. So that’s why people usually back in the day stored up for this time of year. Preparing for this time of year because they knew sort of in essence had to batten down the hatches.

Us as a society – that is unfavorable – to into that thing. Even to work with the harmonies of the moons, the seasons, everything like this. We don’t eat seasonally, right? We get from all over the world now.

So the body, even though the body is influenced. We do everything in our power to go against natural rhythms.

“No, and there’s no way I, you know, during the winter season I better get my avocados, and my…”

Traditionally, it was like you’d go switch over to root vegetables and things that you could pickle and store and that could last. And grains and stuff, smoked meats and everything like this, to get you through this time period.

And it’s only within the short last hundred years, 200 years that we have changed our whole cycle as a species.

And we’re falling apart.

We have more medicine and more sickness. We have more luxury but more poverty.

We have more free time, but less ease.

Student: The higher up we went the further down we went.

Zen master e: Because we’re no longer sensitive. The practice is a lot, I say it a lot, I just keep going at it, is that the practice and the teachings about sensitivity really. Like it’s almost like a sensitivity training, right, because you’ve been insensitive to life, to others, and yourself.

And then as you become more sensitive, then you see that there’s no such thing as life, others and self. It all just is this beautiful dance and movement and sway, and rhythm.

And what do we do, we stay in this fixed point.

And life is doing this (swaying) and what are we trying to do?

“NOPE!” (and stays straight up in a tight fixed meditative posture)

What do you think is gonna win? You? Your puny little idea of control?

So then, it’s different, right, work with it, not against it.

If the current is going that way just go with it.

If at this time of year, your body spaceship says, “Whoa! We need to go into maintenance mode.”

This is the perfect time to do that

Then go deep and hard into that.

Be sensitive to that.

Maybe I need to, I need to soften. This isn’t like a hard Japanese zen “Only go straight!”

Which is very like it’s a good teaching for some people, right. I’ll just say not for me.

What I find is more fun and more enjoyable is to flow and float. And to ever be in harmony.

And the only way to get there is to continually sensitize yourself.
To see that you’re part of something bigger than yourself.
And that to continually stop believing that you’re not.
And that you need to fight against it.

And that we see, “At this time of year…”

This is good! This is a good insight that you see that this is a pattern with my body spaceship.

I noticed that at certain at a certain time of the month, like my biggest insights, revelations or things like that, always happened within this three day time window. Always happened within it.

So then when I noticed that pattern then I opened up even more fully during that time. To see.

I used to call them, what did I use to call them? My sacred days or something like this. I can’t remember.

And then I know, “Oh! We’re coming into this time so let me be extra sensitive to the teachings and lessons and insights, myself, this body, the people around me. Because I know.”

It was like a heightened sensitivity of time. So then I tuned into that.

And then I let go (and this is the other sort of equation to it) is letting go of what you think it should look like.

Yeah we need to have our goals, and our ideals. And our targets.

This is good, but not to the point where we’re so rigid.

You have to think like a bamboo – flex.

The bamboo still can be strong, but it can be beautiful swaying in the wind at the same time, bending and leaning.

So we need to see that and see those times.

You can only be rigid for so long. You can only be still – stiff for so long.

Even life shows you.

Okay, I challenge you – how long can you stand up? A day? Two day’s?

Eventually life’s gonna win, and it’s gonna sit your ass down.

So it shows you all the time. Every day, it shows you. You rise from the bed and you go about your life, movement, laughter and sounds and sights. And then you lay back down. You rest.

How if you brought some intentions to that process?

Open heartedness to that process. And really tried to maximize, that sensitivity, and those insights that you’re getting about yourself during this time.

“When I’m relaxed, oh, my appetite comes back.”

So the practice is a sensitivity practice, to yourself and the greater self of the world around you. And the ever dynamics, that’s changing around you.

Lately I’ve been telling people that I’m a lover of life. And I’m just in love with life. And when you’re in love everything is magic, and beautiful and everything just flows and sways.

And you’re sensitive and you connect with everybody and everything.

So be a lover of life. Because everything is relationship. What’s your relationship to this moment, to that person, this song, that feeling?

You’re in the dance and you don’t even know it.

So, you ever, ever had a rigid dance partner?

Maybe you were the rigid dance partner? Going back to those grade seven dances right?

And over time, you got past your nervousness, you got past your awkwardness, and then you’re like, “Oh my God! This can be beautiful! And I can be lost in the dance. And when I get lost in the dance and lost in the love, then – you ever, ever watch other people watching lovers?

They always smile. It just affects everyone.

I remember, two years ago, Andy and I we were in Mexico, and we have a thing right like you know how like tables they have you sit like this, like your adversaries. So I always do my and if I can, I always figure out a way to sit beside her. So that we’re always beside each other and close. And so we were at this tappas where they give you the little things, tapas Bar, and the tables were set up like adversaries right and I was like, “What?!? This is a night for lovers!”. Every night is a night for lovers.

And so, so I went and so and then I sat beside her and I changed the table sideways and everything like this right and I was like, especially for tappas you’d figured this would be that kind of experience right.

And so one of the other servers like the hostess was there and one of the other servers, like came out and was like looked at us and it just like totally shocked his whole world because of “What the hell’s wrong with these people?”

And like the host was like, “Oh don’t worry about them. They’re lovers.”

Yeah, be lovers of life.

When you love… From that place of love, then there’s care. Wise love. Caring. Softness. A melting.

But then the Sufi tradition, they, they say, “Oh I found my beloved.”

It’s beautiful. It’s beautiful. The Sufi’s got it figured out.

We’re here talking about wisdom, compassion and they found the beloved sleeping within their own breast.

It’s beautiful. It’s a beautiful tradition. It’s beautiful teaching. It’s a softness. They talk about that they go on, they’ve given up the search.

It was a futile search.

They were fools.

Because they were looking everywhere for love. They’re looking everywhere for the beloved.

“And when I looked in the mirror I found you.”

“When I looked and touched my own heart, I felt yours beating.”

It’s beautiful.

So this.

Our tradition, is like this. There’s a softness. A sensitivity. An openness – to ourselves.

And the more that we have that openness and sensitivity for ourselves, then the more that we can love – more fully.

And love is fluid. Love is dancing around. Love is jumping on light poles and doing twirls. It doesn’t matter. If something gets in the way for love, it doesn’t matter.

So we become lovers of life again.

We become sensitive, and we adapt.

And yeah we wanna, we want to dedicate our time, we got our studies. We got our “practice”.

You know like this, shoulders up. Tense. This is not the lovers pose/posture.

At ease.

That’s why I like you know like that Bodhisattva at ease. Just that ease like this,

Lean back.

“Yeah I’m gonna save everybody. But right now I’m good.”

bodhisattva at ease

At ease in every moment. Sensitive to every moment. A foot at the ready.

She has her foot right there, ready to pounce at any moment. Because knowing she made that great vow to save all beings.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. But maybe that means to be at ease in that moment.

Maybe that’s how you save all beings.

To be sensitive and welcoming and that ease then inspires “Oh, that person seems to be pretty relaxed and at ease.

Student: It’s contagious.

Zen master e: Yeah! Maybe I want to be like that. Maybe I have the permission to let my guard down. To stop.

And you’ll see it in like certain teachings.

Everybody’s like ready! Gotta pay attention to the teachings! Stay stiff. Get it all in.

And then like, All right, let’s, let’s take it easy for a moment.

So yeah,

It’s all of our challenges. All of our challenge to be more and more…

What’s saying you know, “There’s you making plans and God laughing.”

Now this is all of life. Yeah, like we wake up and yeah we got some plans. Right. And then just, I just anticipate my life to go off the rails all the time. So when it does, I’m like, “Oh! There you are!” You know it’s not a surprise. Oh, great, wicked! I’m ready to respond because I didn’t expect it to be anything than what it was. And so then I can just be like, “Oh, yeah, there’s three days of dishes. Let’s do them. There’s the laundry. Do it. The kids need extra attention today. Let’s do it. The wife seemed said… I can’t say that.

This is, we start and we’re all, we’re always – wherever we’re at, is where it is.

So here it is.

And it seems like what I want might be in friction, to what life wants in this moment.

So we become sensitive to it. Not that we would like go of our standards or right, and certain levels of expectations and levels of respect and stuff like this.

We just look at all those times where, where we’re coming down hard, either on ourselves or on the people around us and maybe a different approach is better.

We don’t beat ourselves up about it. We just, we just flow with what comes next. And if what comes next is to do less – great!

You honor your commitment. Right. You got dharma teacher training, so you got your homework. That’s not the jab.

But again, so now it’s changed but now at the same time, now you have to negotiate a new, “Oh hey whoa okay like the environment has changed but ‘Hey guys I’ve made these promises. So how do we make this work?’”

Because we’re in relationship. How do we continue to dance together right. This is important to daddy.

Because this is, this is a gift I want to give to you guys. This is the gift then hopefully then you guys can give to the next person, because I think this is the greatest gift that we can give the world is to be fully awakened and embodied.

Embodied awakening in every moment.

Then you can be a better lover. Better father. Better mother. Better manager. Better everything.

Sometimes it’ll take the people in your life a little time to see that.

Then life will throw winter in.

Just like you had to adapt for summertime. You had to adapt your practice and everything like that. Summer. Each season, especially for you, right, because the young kids, you’re a teacher, your wife just went back to work. Back to a different type of work. Yeah, right and that’s hard.

So then it’s not a solo practice now. Now it’s a together practice. And then you can – you hold them you’re holding them on that Dharma wheel. You hold them up and they don’t even know it.

And that you can embody just holding them there, and they don’t even know that they’re being enveloped and influenced with the Dharma because at that point you’re just calling it love.


Okay, you guys want to meditate?

Thank you.

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