Driving home after I plunged in on Saturday, I started to think about the extra things I add to my life for complications sake. I started to feel guilty. I know surprise, do something good and try to get punished for enjoying myself. Even after all that zen I did it. Seeing Maezen so simply dressed and so simply stated made me wonder about my obsessions and my image.
I love jewelry. Not the diamonds and gold kind but the rocky, woody, gawdy kind. The bigger and more colorful the better. My favorite place to find them is the thrift store. I go on 50% off day and spend hours going through every single bin. Sometimes I leave em intact. Sometimes, I shorten a necklace to make a bracelet and earrings. Sometimes I tear apart several and rearrange them into something entirely new. I wonder about this pointless, mindless activity. Can I excuse it by calling it art? Or should I spend my time concentrating on more meaningful things like spirituality?
In the guilty after the retreat spirit, I thought about rushing home since I had had the whole day to myself. But just as I did, drew sent a text and said don't hurry home. So I stopped at the Goodwill (50% every other Saturday) and went digging for some new treasures. As I was digging and feeling guilty, (though she told us forgetting was an important part of practice), I remembered something Maezen said: when you pay attention to what you are doing you spiritualize how it is right now. Taking her advice, I stopped feeling guilty and immersed myself in beads. Paying attention to each color and string I forgot about guilt, time, and image. Feeling utterly satisfied without a shred of my usual remorse, I finally settled on some and started home. I don't think she meant to glorify the art of jewelry hunting or anything, but to remind us that the only thing we can pay attention to is the thing we are doing right at this moment. That attention is always spiritual. And when we don't we rob it and ourselves of any real doing of it. So I don't need to excuse my obsession by calling it anything other than what it is: my life. And concentrating on it, is spirituality.