Seikan Cech, 5
Interview with Seikan Cech
I really like the suggestion of "Let your motivation bring you to the practice, then leave it at the door." I can relate to being fed up with the many toys available. They simply do not fulfill, but instead escalate to greater toys, but still they are toys- preoccupations instead of occupations- or rather being fully occupied (as in "present").
Something interesting happened just after I sent you my last question. I got a clear image of a flower facing the sun. It was compelled to lean in that direction. I took this to be a clear indication that - regardless of what might suffice as scientific proof for why a flower does this, the simple movement is still there - an entity being drawn towards its sustenance and source. Sitting is the simplest form of being both still and yet awake, and very much resembles a flower.
I believe I am left with one more question, unless of course you have anything else you would like to share. If this is the case, please do. Here is my question - Your first response was a powerful one, and so compelling. You, as a small hill with snow falling is a powerful image, and with personal human identity nowhere to be found. Is this dropping of identity and with it personal desire representative of an experience of freedom - freedom from the entry point you mention - namely despair?
Yes, "freedom" stops being an idea of independence and countless options, and simply turns into our reality of this moment - like your example of a flower turning to face the sun. Kosho Uchiyama Roshi (1912-1998) repeatedly referred to flowers in illustrating this reality of freedom: "A violet is a violet. A rose is a rose. You give expression to the flower to your self, the flower of here and now, and allow it to blossom as completely and naturally as it can in every moment."
So freedom involves, as you say, dropping our identity that has been constructed, and giving complete expression to the flower to the self - here, now, blossom, stalk, sun, rain, wind, and earth. Even despair is nothing other than freedom. As we said, Zen practice is not about one experience over another, but about a structure for letting go and being here and now - again and again and again.
To put it another way, Zen provides a kind of picture frame, so that we may let our life paint itself freely as it is. And every day is a good day.