Thursday, June 23, 2011

If Only...

On my journey through this life I was blessed with receiving the Dharma name, Shinzen. Trust/Faith Zen. This is my path. To trust zen. For many years I have pondered what this really means to have faith. I am learning that faith and trust are not intellectual endeavors for philosophical discussion, but a deep practice of being centered here in this moment...this moment of my typing and yours now in your reading.

One theme that has jumped at me as of late is "There is no, if only"...I was reading an article from the Dharma Rain Zen Center on "Living in Vow" and the author, Alison Shin'ei Brown had this one sentence. "There is no, if only." Wow, what a powerful statement.

How often do we say to ourselves, "If only I had ___________". Insert whatever you want. Perhaps it is a job, a car, a partner, a black belt, a whatever. It is not so much the object of the If Only, but the intention and longing behind the If Only. To live in this state of If Only is to suffer. It is living for the future, not being here now.

Begin to notice how you live your life in this manner. As you notice it more and more you can learn to step out of it. Don't try to stop it or you will increase it..."if only I could stop if only" is a trap of the mind. Stop and just watch...this is the Zen Way. This the Shin Zen's Way. Faith Zen. Trust Zen.

No more If Only. Feels good. Then we can be like Basho:

"Fleas, lice
The horse pissing
near my pillow."

Hands palm to palm,


  1. Statement of an Idle mind.. If Only...
    Hand <===--===>Hand

  2. Hm, not bad . .

    . . if only I had some regrets . .


  3. @Doug: reading this article? :-D

    @John: _/|\_