Joko Beck, one of the beloved Zen teachers, started her practice in the sixties after raising four children on her own. She died last year at 94. Her style still influences us. It’s practical, useful in every day life. I’ve loved her work since I was first exposed to it in 2000.
As I work with the people in the Becoming Safely Embodied Skills Course that is happening now I was reminded of Joko’s perspective on thoughts.
I tell people, “You just can’t go looking for these things. You have to let this transformation grow.” And that entails hard, persistent, daily work. I simply wouldn’t let an irritable thought go through my mind without noting, “Oh, that’s interesting. What’s going on here?” I don’t mean analyzing it, but just stopping. There has to be that ability to stand back and say, “Yeah, interesting that I do that.” Right there. I may go back to it if I’m busy talking to you. But it’s been registered. I’m not going to let that one go by; it’s too interesting. It’s not good or bad. It’s just interesting to note that you do that.