the texture of ordinary is a project I started in 2011 because I was curious what would happen if I made a commitment to write. I needed a theme, so I chose the ordinary life. The ordinary life, or, as Genine Lentine brilliantly labels it, “my actual life,” is the object of my fear each time I take a breath and vow to become intimate with what is happening in this moment. I have feared living an ordinary life, and having realized at some level that I got it anyway, my vow is to look at it, taste it, and get to know it.
I am a resident in a Zen Buddhist temple in North America. You might think that that’s not quite ordinary, but I don’t think any of us gets to escape the ordinary life, whether we’re living in a Zen temple or picking garbage in Rio de Janeiro or flying missions into space. We may be doing amazing things, but there is also the breathing and moving and the great matter of birth and death that are an inextricable part of the human condition, the ordinariness at the heart of all existence.
It has now been several months of writing this blog, and regardless of what all of you think about it, I have discovered that it helps me to sift through the events of the day and see what kind of meanings I am making of it all.
But I hope I am not too attached to my meanings. I surmise we are making those connections anyway, deep in our subconscious, and those connections are drivers in life without our conscious consent. Perhaps when we pull them out into the light, out of curiosity about what the mind is already doing rather than a search for something called “truth,” then actually some of the charge is taken out of their ability to determine our path, and we find more choice as to who we might be today. That is my hope anyway.
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