Why sit? 2019.0126 DRAFT

It is fascinating that something as obviously beneficial as quiet upright sitting—beneficial in both reason and experience—is so difficult to sustain as a regular practice.

What activity is not improved by increased attention to it? What addiction’s grip is not loosened by the grit of sitting in difficulty? What body’s health is not improved by attention to its imbalances, and letting go of needless stress? What relationship to God is not improved by cultivating listening before blathering? Does it not make sense to practice quieting the mind’s incessant noise? Is it not obvious that cultivating the ability to sit in the midst of your cravings both reveals the chains of your slavery, and frees you from them? On a technical note, if the brain is in part or aspect an annealing machine does it not make sense to allow it to settle to optima? The list goes on and on.

And yet, as the difficulty appears in zazen you will ask yourself, “Why am I doing this pointless and unpleasant thing?” No one tells you that zazen is enough, or that you must practice zazen overall in more than moderation. You protest, and even so it hands you the gift of vivid life when you persevere.