I posted this to my LiveJournal a while ago, and ran across it today while looking for something else. I figured it’d be relevant over here too.
My first taste of Zen was an introductory workshop at the Montreal Zen Centre with Albert Low. A little while ago I was reading his To Know Yourself and wrote down a couple of things, both of them from the chapter in which he explains why he recommends his students, especially those with Christian upbringings, read St. John of the Cross’s Dark Night of the Soul.
One of the questions frequently asked is, Why does it take so long to come to awakening? The answer is very simple: we want something else more than we want awakening.
In Zen practice a first crucial point is reached when we realize that no experience of any kind is going to give the kind of satisfaction that we crave so deeply.
I wish I hadn’t passed up the opportunity to study with Roshi Low when I first encountered Zen.