It is Friday, and my turn to write a blog post. It is less than 48 hours since I arrived back from the monastic sangha gathering at Shasta Abbey in the US and I am not quite with it yet. I can tell by how confused I get by small things, like which door to go through, and by how much effort it takes to engage in conversation and simple tasks.
Those who know me will know that I am a bit of a perfectionist, and it goes against the grain to sit down and try and write something when my brain is not firing on all cylinders. But isn’t this just what training is all about—accepting that the universe is not answerable to my personal will and that I will frequently have to work with what seem to me to be unsatisfactory circumstances?
I have to remind myself that this view, of circumstances being imperfect, is just that, my view. If instead I can drop the judgment (doesn’t the Sandokai admonish us not to set up our own standards?) and work with life as it is, things flow much more freely. It is not, after all, about achieving the ends, but about how we get there. It is much more important to me to learn acceptance and non-judgement than to turn out a profound piece of writing. And when I stop worrying about it, and trust in something beyond the powers of my own head I’m probably going to make a much better job of it anyway.
It seems to get a little easier as I get older to let go of my own standards, and to be less concerned about what others will think (although I suspect it is what I think that others might think that is the problem).
Here is a photo of the view of Mount Shasta from Shasta Abbey, taken by Rev. Lambert. It is pretty stunning to catch sight of, especially when it has been obscured by clouds and suddenly revealed again.