If you’ve ever heard any of the stories about Zen Masters they are usually very funny for the listener, but quite intense experiences for the disciples. Usually they involve a disciple who is not attending to his meditation properly and is therefore lost in thought. What the Zen Master will do is to sneak up behind him and either whack him on the head with a stick, or throw him out the second story window, or something equally as hectic that is sure to make him remain present in the future for fear of further attack!
With this in mind, your task this week is to discover your Zen Masters. Everyone has someone, or some situation in their lives that annoys them intensely, or tends to draw them into unconsciousness – a boss, your kids, an alarm going off, your mother-in-law. These people / situations are often our best spiritual teachers, or as Michael Brown puts it, your demons are really your angels. The idea is to nominate these people as your Zen Masters. If you can, take a photo of them and write “My Zen Master” across it and stick it somewhere that you will see it daily. Then, whenever the person or situation starts to drive you insane, remember that they are your teachers, there to help you to become conscious, and use this as a trigger to do something to bring you into yourself and into the present. This could involve focusing on your breathing, using a mantra, looking at a flower, anything that will stop you from resorting to your old conditioned mind patterns or reactive behavior.
In reality, everything in your life is there to assist you in raising your level of consciousness. Your life is your spiritual journey. Your Zen Masters are all around. Make the most of their lessons!
As the Chinese saying goes – Happiness in Suffering!