ZaZen with the Princess of Chaos (Updated)

In light of Hannah seeming to be interested in doing daily ZaZen practice with me, I broke down yesterday and put in an order for another zafu (round cushion)and zabuton (square mat) set. I have two but if two are occupied I think it would be nice to have another available incase someone else cares to join us. I guess it is just a carryover in my thinking of “there is always room for one more” service mentality.

This morning I hit the snooze button once, though about hitting it again but did not. I did not sleep so well due to some coughing caused by post nasal drip. I went to Hannah’s room and lightly touched her shoulder and gave her a kiss on the cheek. She woke with a start and exclaimed “Daddy! You were supposed to wake me up for ZaZen!” I guess she thought I was giving her a by by kiss. I said “I know… It’s time.”

As I was putting on my rakusa she said “Oh I have to go get Iris, she wants to ZaZen too.” “Really” I said, quite doubtful.

Aside: Iris is the kind of kid they model children’s shows like Franklin or little Bill after. The stubborn, selfish , angry, shy, uninformed, etc etc, example that we learn life lessons from. Hey, she’s four, and yes she has probably been a bit spoiled. It just can’t be helped, she’s Iris after all and she casts a spell on people to somehow get her way.

“She really want to ZaZen with us” Hannah said as she left to get her. As I light the incense I hear “HANNAH! I CAN’T OPEN MY EYES!!!” But apparently she could because she came rushing in following Hannah a few seconds later. We arranged a blanket for a mat and got a pillow for a cushion, but she really wanted a Zafu and Zabuton. I suppose I should have given her mine.

Three bells, Hannah shows her how to place her hands in the cosmic Mudra; again and again and again. Hannah is fussing over Iris, telling her what to do, finally I say to her “Hannah. Don’t worry about Iris’s ZaZen, just concentrate on your own.” That seems to do the trick. In my peripheral vision I see Iris wobbling from side to side, holding up her hands to admire at her mudra. Finally she settles. They get up ant 22 minuets in and start fussing over breakfast. Little kids taking care of them selves while daddy sits and mommy snores away. When the bell rings I get up and they are getting ready to make waffles for me, I tell them I’m sorry I don’t have time this morning since I got up late. They are OK with that. I rush to get the trash and recycling out to the street, warm up the car, make a pot of tea to go. Took my vitamins, hugs kisses, thanks for joining me this morning for ZaZen.

On the way into work I play a recorded Dharma talk, but I am not listening to it. Nice thoughts of these little kids joining me for practice turn to poison as my discriminating aversive mind churns out “Why doesn’t she (my wife) sit with me?” Comparing mind says “The kids do it without even being asked! And they even want to! Why doesn’t she?” Recognizing these thoughts as poison I want to stop. I tell myself “she has to work out her own salvation too.” The argument goes on in my head, yes but her suffering affects us all. Blah blah blah the poisonous thoughts churn about. No, only when you allow it to, Stop! Loving Kindness. Loving Kindness. Loving Kindness. Loving Kindness. Loving Kindness.

All the evil thoughts conceived by me by way of my own ancient greed anger and delusion I now fully avow.

Walking down the hall at work this morning I notice my hands are in the walking meditation form.

I wonder if I should get another set of cushions.

Update: Today's Horrorscope:
You aren't sure about this "everything is beautiful" idea that keeps floating around today. Although this might be an effective mantra, you still could lose your perspective. Don't waste any of your precious energy now by worrying about everything that's left to finish. Just stay focused without judgment. In a few days, you should be able to look back and see things in a better light.


Lauren said...


Thanks for sharing the continued story beautiful story of zazen with kids, and your frank struggles with dissatisfaction....and, of course for your practice.

Its important to me to know that duhka occurs to others, (it does not indicate a "flaw"), and to learn how others respond to duhka when it arises.

P.S. did you see my email?

SlowZen said...


You are welcome and I am glad it is welcomed!

I did not see your e-mail.
Did you remember to delete the spam trap?

Uku said...

Lovely story again, Jordan, thank you for sharing!

Yes, we all have hell and heavens in our lifes, in our minds. Thank you for being honest, Jordan! Your practice inspires us all!


SlowZen said...

Thanks Uku,
I am enjoying your trip reports too!

Thanks for looking!