zazen, there are often distractions. At first these may be annoying, but then I remember the process of acceptance. Not that I can force myself to accept, but it is more like an invitation from my self to my self to simply accept. The other day for instance, there was the sound of a door gently opening and closing in the breeze created from an open window…
At first, I felt distracted and my mind urged me to get up and close it just to make my zazen silent and "perfect". Yet, a deeper part of me that knew that I just needed to connect with whatever arose in zazen. Perhaps this deeper part was "true" self. But one never knows in Zen, as not knowing is a desirable and "perfect" state. Did I mention desire there? Did I mention perfect!? What illusion! What paradox!
Anyway, whatever happened, I slipped into a state of just listening. The door would touch its framework and then nothing. Touch its framework again, and then nothing. No rhythm at all, so I didn't know when the next noise would occur. I realized that I was anticipating the noise and had slipped out of the immediate moment. The noise wouldn't come and just as I felt relief that I could get on with zazen, there is was again! I knew this was not correct practice! But reminded myself that there is no correct practice without there being incorrect practice.. Trapped in dualism again?
Then it all stopped. The noise came and went, came and went, and it was OK. Zen became perfectly imperfect. Without expectation or disappointment that my zazen hadn't been… Perfect! Ha!