mad in pursuit journal



Just got back from the Tuesday morning "sitting" at the Zen Center -- an hour of counting 1-10, while thoughts buzzed me like a swarm of mosquitos. My mind resists shutting up, always keeping up a line of patter, rehashing old conversations, explaining things to people I haven't seen in months, singing Jackson 5 songs, planning my day. "Why am I here?" my brain demands. "What's the point? Let me tell you what I think."

The point of zazen meditation is to dial down the volume of the mind chatter so that you can accurately experience "reality" without your mind rushing ahead of you to interpret it first. Be. Now.

But I resist.

Maria and I talked the other night about why kids "these days" are less compliant about school than we used to be. Now I'm sitting here thinking that I was externally compliant but internally resistant. Teachers could get me to do the stupidest homework assignments on the planet but they didn't own my mind. I always knew how to comply enough to get a B. Striving for an A was reserved for subjects I loved. "You don't own me" could have been my theme song.

Brainy people like to assess, interpret, judge, conclude, lecture, theorize, design grand conceptual frameworks and argue. Observing what is -- hearing it with our own ears. seeing it, smelling it -- isn't that what we hire data collectors to do???

There's the heart of my creative dilemma. The drawing, the writing, the sound productions don't flow how I want them to because I'm more conceptual than experiential. Some might say my left brain is always editing my right brain, but I think it's more like my frontal lobe is always commanding the reptilian cortex, the brain stem, or whatever part it is that doesn't do a lot of analysis but simply knows.

The source of Darwin's genius was not his brainy theory. He took years to go out and observe the world through his own senses and kept copious notes about what he experienced. The brainy theory emerged as an enlightenment from all that experience.

Ok, I got my brainy conceptual fix here... on with the day...


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