“The Great Way is without difficulty, just cease having preferences.”
– Third Patriarch of Zen
Despite being some sort of Buddhist/Hindu hybrid, I observed Lent this year and didn’t drink any alcohol for 46 days. It wasn’t that hard. It was fine.
And then I broke my fast with a margarita. That was fine, too.
I thought I would come out of this with a strong feeling one way or another, either I would have missed wine enormously or I would feel like a superhero without it. I thought I’d have a stance.
I used to have all kinds of opinions and preferences and beliefs in what was good and bad. I use to know so many things FOR SURE. I’m finding that to be less and less true.
I’m less interested in jumping on something and immediately judging it and giving it a permanent, 1-10 rating of goodness. I am feeling less need to cling to my opinions. Identifying with them and owning them no longer seems desirable because they feel more fluid these days.
Another example: I am not joining back up with my CSA this year. I’ve been part of community supported agriculture for the past five years and I would have said that was a major tenet of my identity. It was a difficult decision to let it go, but this year I wanted to go to the local farmer’s markets more often and support a wider variety of vendors. Maybe next year I’ll sign up again, maybe not.
It doesn’t have to define my being. I don’t have to be that CSA Girl.
Of course, I still get super judgey sometimes and think something is just plain awful and that person is stupid for doing it. I just tend to catch myself a little sooner. Then I feel like a dog chasing her tail; it’s pointless, I look silly and know I’ll end up getting bitten in the ass for it.
Socrates said “The more I learn, the more I learn how little I know” but I think we tend to overlook the freedom in not knowing. My staunch opinions bind me up and place me in opposition to others. Letting go of my know-it-all judgements allows me to get back to the (way more fun) place of beginner’s mind and frees me up to explore the world more openly.
So, cheers to that.
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