Losing the Story Line

dogen pilgrim

Photo from the film “Zen” c. 2009

Paul Haller, the former Abbot of City Center, once told me during a ceremony at Tassajara, “Enter the Way and let it undo you.” This was a profound admonition; one that felt completely in accord with the life I seemed to be living. For many people practice feels like this, undoing the sense of you and losing your way to take up a greater Way. It can seem like losing the story line of your life. The people, places and things that together comprise the whole don’t seem to hang together the way they used to. In fact, they don’t seem to hang together at all, becoming more of a random walk than a sprint to the finish line. At times painful and confusing, Dogen Zenji’s path of studying the self to forget the self requires a fair amount of courage. It requires the ability to remain present for all that arises in life and to respond, not from a place of well worn, fixed identity but from a place of real intimacy, honesty and compassion.

3 responses to “Losing the Story Line

  1. Choro Carla Antonaccio

    Let is undo you! what a wonderful admonition, as I face undoing without ‘doing up’ another self, and without abandoning anything or anyone.

  2. OMG! This is sooooo true!

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