You MAY have noticed that this is a bit of a running theme at the moment ; )
I’m looking forward to reading Zen Heart by Ezra Bayda, which just arrived, but in emergencies it’s OK to cheat and open new books at random and see what you can find.
Here’s what I found – Bayda talking about perseverence:
At one point, when I was very involved at a Zen center in Northern California, I was hit, seemingly out of the blue, with a wall of resistance, and I didn’t want to sit any more, nor did I want to go to the center. But even though I couldn’t stand being there, something in me knew not to bolt. I forced myself to go to just one sitting a week, basically hanging by a thread. Then, after a few months, the resistance began to fade, and I reentered the practice wiht a deeper involvement than before, not only internally but also in the external activities at the center. The point is, sometimes simply persevering will allow us to move through even the worse resistance. Even when our practice efforts seem to produce very little in terms of tangible results, with the little mind seeing “failure” at every step, a part of us knows that we have no choice but to keep starting over. This is the only way we will ever go deeper into our life.
I was speaking to my artist friend on the phone yesterday. We were wondering if sometimes, when resistance really hits, what we should really do is allow ourselves to take a proper break, and to enjoy it, and to return to the work with more hunger.
Personally speaking, I’m not so sure. I think my current wall of resistance would still be there if I took a break for a fortnight (or a year) and it might even get a bit bigger in my absence.
Instead, I’ll open my manuscript this morning (right now) and type a single sentence. Better to hang by a thread than to let go.
PS I found this very beautiful painting, called ‘Hanging By A Thread’, on Gail Bourgeois’ site. I hope she’ll forgive me putting it up here if you promise to go and have a look around at her stunning work. I like this one and lots of others.
PPS Another interview is up at 100 Readers – meet Caroline. There are now 47 blogs with the widget and counting… got yours yet? And we have 14 Blogsplashers – do you want to play? Enough links yet?