Friday, March 30, 2007

To forget the self is to be enlightened by the 10,000 things ...

I had my CT scan today -- half a CT scan, really.
I was to have two separate scans, one with contrast (injectable dye) and one without. Because a blood test revealed that my kidney function is slightly compromised now (high calcium does that), the dye can't be administered -- which is just fine with me, as needle-phobic as I am.
So, I'm hoping the surgeon determining the feasibility of surgery can make do with a non-contrast CT scan (which doesn't provide as detailed an image as one with the dye).
The film should be available Monday, and I'm hoping it's sent to the surgeon sometime next week so that the road ahead will be revealed -- at least up to the next mountain.

Elsewhere in my life (but inextricably related to present circumstances), I'm resuming my zazen practice after a considerable lapse. Come to think of it, my 14 years of Buddhist study have featured a succession of considerable lapses. So it goes.
I may return to a sangha that meets nearby with which I was closely affiliated up till three years ago. Then again, I may decide to practice on my own. This sangha's approach has a decidedly Western and New Age feel to it (God, how I hate that empty label "New Age"), which isn't the best choice for me. I prefer a more traditional, no-frills approach. But, I relate well to the teacher. She has a nice way of cutting through the bullshit in short order.
I don't want to seem like a Zen dilettante because of this sangha search. I'm reminded of Dogen Zenji's admonition: "If you can't find the truth right where you are, where do you expect to find it?"
But I believe at this point in my practice that having an environment conducive to introspection is important (and this is where my ego and idea of self get me into trouble).
What's meant to happen will.


Matt Kohai said...

As usual, Mike, good luck with the health issues, and also with the renewed practice. I've been lapsed to the point of non-practicing, except for the dojo.

Brotha Buck said...

Keep us updated. Again, I hope all goes well.

: (

Michael said...

Thanks, Matt, Buck. I'm trying to keep it together, and hopefully some encouraging news from the scan will help things along.

Jean said...

Hope you find a comfortable place to sit, whether it turns out to be with a local sangha or by yourself. The practice never goes away, does it? Like riding a bicycle, you don't need to start again from scratch, except of course in the sense that that is exactly what everyone needs to do every day, whether they last sat yesterday or years ago.

Michael said...

Yes, the practice is a constant, whereas my laziness is the variable. One moment at a time, I think, is the way to go.