If you have thought about rebooting your brain, you might be interested in the next step (which may take a bit longer). I talked a bit about the lens of your ego, and how it needs to be clear and free of astigmatism in order for you to perceive the world make the changes you desire in your life, and the lives of others.
How do you do that?
The more I thought about this post the more I realized one would not be enough, but how to break it down? As the old adage states, a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. I didn’t learn this in a day, I can’t convey it in a day, either. You can start with meditation, a good zen book will start you off learning how to do that. Sometimes that is too difficult. In that case I recommend reading a book of zen koans. These little parables convey the essence of what you are looking for without too much pain. The beauty of the koans, is that even if they don’t seem to make sense to you when you read them, your brain will mull over them as you go about your day, and the meaning will suddenly pop in when you are doing something else. This is especially wonderful when you have read a koan, then encounter a similar physical event at the office or at school. You do a mental double-take. You have just lived a physical representation of a metaphysical lesson. I love when that happens. Zen is just the first chapter. It is a tried and true method for the re-boot. It is not an end in itself. After the re-boot, the exploration begins.
The biggest hurdle, and the one to be most proud of when you have eliminated it, is the very deep association you have with your personal definition of your self. America has become very selfish since the end of World War Two. Americans have lost their sense of community. Individualism has become the new religion. People ask themselves, “What’s in it for ME?” before they consider any other criteria. This is not because individualism is bad, per se, but that folks believe that without themselves, they cease to exist. With so much focus on themselves there is no room for anything greater. Somehow they have come to believe that they are the most important person in their world. (cough cough advertising cough).
When you read a zen koan that suggests your goal is nothingness, it can be very threatening. You think, “I don’t WANT to be nothing!” What happens to ME when the nothingness occurs?
The problem is the word “nothingness” and I will not presume to define what the Zen Masters are saying to their students, but I will encourage you to know that it is not what you think it is. It is not the loss of you. The goal of nothingness is the re-boot. The goal is to wipe the brain of all the gunk…like wiping the hard drive that if full of bugs and viruses so you can re-load Windows…
Once you have achieved nothingness, then you can reload a fresh program, one that brings you a Universe of understanding and the power to create a whole new you, a better you, an upgraded you, and in that sense, a whole new world.
Lift your foot, set it down. You have taken the first step:
(when you get to this site, please click on the tiny little link that says “show all koans”)