Two books

1 May

” The most fantastic parking lot attendant in the world, he can back a car forty miles an hour into tight squeeze and stop at the wall, jump out, race among fenders, leap into another car, circle it fifty miles an hour in a narrow space, back swiftly into tight spot, hump, snap the car with the emergency so that you can see it bounce as he flies out;then clear to the ticket shack, sprinting like a track star, hand a ticket, leap into a newly arrived car before the owner’s half out, leap literally under him as he steps out, start the car with the door flapping, and roar off to the next available spot, arc, pop in, brake, out, run; working like that without pause eight hours a night, evening rush hours and after- theatre rush hours, in greasy wino pants with a frayed fur- lined jacket and beat shoes that flap.

―  Jack Kerouac, On the Road 

This is gorgeously written. It’s not just about a super parking lot attendant. It’s about enthusiasm for life. Passion. For everything. Before that.

Two incidents. Long ago my friend had taken me to a  Car wash station for the first time. We were young and had gone to wash his bike. What witnessed there for the next hour and two was the most magnificient car wash boy in my life, he did his work with so much passion and zest. He was like a trapeze artist. It was fantastic watching him. It was what Zen masters call ” Satori”. I was very happy.

Second later in life, went for a international trade mission meet in one of my early jobs. I witnessed a Canadian girl working most enthusiastically with one of the Indian Information technology companies ( TCS Canada). She had a smile and was working non stop joyfully, doing errands, carrying stuff, greeting people  It was a ” Satori.” . I smiled at her happily.

May be this joyful exuberance has got something to do with youth. I want to recapture enthusiasm for life. What’s the point of mere existing?

I want to live passionately.

” All we should do is just do something as it comes. Do something! Whatever it is, we should do it, even if it is not – doing something. We should live in this moment So when we sit we concentrate on our breathing, and we become a swinging door, and we do something we should do, something we must do. This is a Zen practice. In this practice there is no confusion. If you establish this kind of life you have no confusion whatsoever.

When we become truly ourselves, we just become a swinging door, and we are purely independent of, and at the same time, dependent on everything. Without air, we cannot breathe.  Each one of us in the midst of myriads of worlds. We are in the center of the world always, moment after moment.So we are completely dependent and independent. If you have this kind of experience, this kind of existence, you have absolute independence, you will not be bothered by anything. ”

― Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s mind 

I had written this down in my phone diary. I was anxious and wanted to feel centered. Due to tumultuous changes  and personal challenges. I was not in grace and not in control of my destiny. I was shuttling between work and hospitals. I was constantly thinking ” Why am not in control of my destiny.” I wanted to feel autonomous. I decided to go back to breathing. To do something as it comes. Whatsoever it is.

I realised we are both independent and dependent. Like a swinging door.We do something we should do. We do something we must do. This again is “Satori.”

I wanted to share this two thought tracks for you dear friends. To combine moment to moment presence with joyful freedom . This is my goal. To combine centeredness with passion. I think Osho teaches that and calls it ” Zorba the buddha.”

May be the two tracks are complementary.

I want to pursue passion and zen.

My only worry is will end up looking little idiotic. Just like the masters are in their discourses. Intense one moment. Joyful the other.

I have always been this way quiet and little naughty.

This for today dear friends. Passion and Zen.

Love, Suresh

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