What goes through your mind [during the hours of silent meditation at Mt Baldy Zen Center]
You run through just about everything. You become familiar – and often depressingly so – with the general scenarios you maintain in your life. And after a while you become very tired … weary of them. You realize that the person you think you are is an elaborate scenario you expend most of your energy maintaining. Upon closer examination you find it’s a personality you generally dislike. And the reason you don’t like this person is because it’s not who you really are. Then, if you become sufficiently bored and appalled by this personality, you spontaneously allow it to dissolve. And then, if you’re lucky, you may experience yourself without the distortion of this personality. And that, in essence, is the process of zazen – Roshi’s philosophy. That’s what the training is for. It’s not to create monks.
Leonard Cohen Mixes Movie-Making And Zen by Paul King. The Gazette, July 16, 1983. Note: A useful discussion of zazen can be found at How to Practice Zazen by Jules Shuzen Harris (Lion’s Roar: July 28, 2019).
I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on AllanShowalter.com (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted Apr 5, 2018.