What is Zen? – Jumping Overboard.

Jumping off the boat. Overboard and in the sea.
Jumping so is Zen.
-What is Zen?
-Jumping overboard

Such a jump ensures movement.
Hence the paramount importance of having a ship from which we can jump.
So it goes with the tradition. We can actualize it, breathe life into it or transcend it…only if we have integrated it one way or another.

And here, people, is the right time for thank-yous.
Please join me as I am about to show a bit of gratefulness to smothering practices, to necrotized ideologies, to the musty smell of chapels and prayer rooms, to self-proclaimed gurus infected by acute dogmatisis.

Do it now. I can feel your reluctance to comply…
Obviously you don’t trust me.

Without all these places and people, without their confusion and renunciation, 
Without their unbridled farsightedness, 
What practice would there be to reinvigorate?
Where would we apply the momentum that springs from our hearts?

Without our eccentricity, without our impertinence and swaggering boldness, 
What tradition would they have to protect  against  wild practitioners and sustain through time?

It feels so good to jump in the water when the ship is sinking and the crew stumbling to death…
It feels so good, once we have been swimming alone in the open sea to be hauled aboard a ship and rest one’s mind for a while. Offshore winds can surely be unsettling.

Let’s not forget that…
A long time ago, we have been them, and one day, they’ll be us.
There will come a time when we’ll be them, and a while ago, they were us.
Nothing really matters, as long as we keep dancing.

Contrary to what it may seem, there is no bitterness in these lines.
Indeed, people who claim to be the representatives of spiritual practices or movements, are nothing but the expression of a stagnating energy in those fields.
Conversely, as far as we are as we are concerned, there is no flag to wave as we jump overboard. We are but the manifestation of the opposite energy.

The pendulum clock does not tell any truth. It keeps clicking from left to right…
And neither left nor right can claim sustaining accuracy.
What matters is the movement of time. Embrace it.
Why would the clock or clock maker favor left over right?

We contribute to the natural breathing pattern of spiritual expressions. No glory.
This is where the space in Zen Buddhism helps.

If anything, there is only a good timing between an explorer profile and a  bleak  spiritual context.
If anything, we choose the side of life.

Franck‌ ‌Joseph‌ ‌ 

©FJ Feb. 2018 – All Rights Reserved

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