My World War III ended

August 8, 2011

Back in 2008 I wrote that for me to get back to practicing Zen was akin to starting a personal World War III. It was going to be Little Ego versus Big Ego, and a fight to the death. As recently as December, 2010, I wrote that the battle was still on, and the Little Ego was a tough little bastard.

A few nights ago while watching a Northern Exposure episode titled Things Become Extinct, I realized that WWIII ended at some point, and I never even noticed.

I remember watching that episode back in the 1990s and thinking, "Yes, exactly!"; they nailed "mid-life crisis" in that episode, and by that time I was on the third or fourth crisis of my own. If you have ever stopped to think about life, death, your time here on Earth -- and what you do with it -- that episode is very special.

But when I watched it again recently the feeling I had was more of a "knowing" feeling, something like, "Oh, yes, I remember that", along with some other observations that I don't think it would be fair to you to share here.

After that it occurred to how much I've changed in the last 15-20 years, and that I once felt the need to make my own WWIII, how I felt like I had to attack the process with all my effort, and someone or something was going to have to die.

These days things are much lighter, Big Ego and Little Ego are more friends than enemies ... no more Spy versus Spy games, just things like, "It's time to sit Zazen for a while", and "Oh, okay." Though I may be 10,000 years from enlightenment, I do think like the old Zen Master who used to call out to himself, "Master", and reply, "What?", and then, "Pay attention", and so on. The Little Ego isn't dead, but again, is more of a friend and companion.

I hope you find a similar peace, or even more, in your own lifetime. Namaste.

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