The Thumbtack popped my balloon yesterday. I spent all day preparing a profit for being a “spiritual teaching” on Thumbtack, which is a service mating website where needs and services are matched. But I question right now whether “spiritual teaching” is a service, and secondly, can it be bottled and put on an internet shelf where among the service providers you pick the best one and pay them for the service. I question that now, while yesterday I didn’t.
OK, here’s what I’m talking about. Spiritual path/practice/journey is about living the surrendered life. Zen is about that. Discovering the Effortless Way. Athletes work on that so through their training they come to a place where they can be “in the zone” and their sport is effortless. Perfect action. We love to watch that when it happens in sports and art.
Spiritual teaching is an ART also, but can you make it happen? Can you bottle it and sell it? Plenty of people do. And that’s OK.
The problem with surrender is that we get impatient. If not NOW then WHEN? So we get an Idea and get high on it to make WHEN happen now. This is fine for everything but spiritual teaching, I find, at least when I use my own life as my experiment. I am most creative, free, and joyous when what I’m doing is free of future, and being free of future is being free of worry and fear that what I want most will not come in time. I don’t want to miss the boat. So I poke time to hurry things up. That is not surrender.
We don’t surrender because we don’t have faith in the Now. We don’t have faith or trust that if I don’t do anything, nothing will happen. But this is a paradox, because it the choose is not between doing something and not doing something. That is not the choice. There is no choice in surrender. What you surrender is the either/or of choice. And this surrender must happen to you.
Surrender happens when you suddenly see through miles of suffering that the choice is a double-bind. If you try to make your life happen, you lose; if you don’t try to make your life happen, you lose. This is the Zen Kaon of existence. You have to choose but you can’t. What are you doing to do?