Accepting and Moving on Zen.

A friend had a jacket burning ceremony to signify her new remission status. She had been wearing her leather for almost fourteen years and was addicted to heroin throughout that time. She said she had become very aware of the significance of that jacket in the way she felt and “held” herself when she was wearing it. There were a lot of feelings and memories tied to that jacket and she now says that “Burning the damn thing” was one of best experiences she has ever had. (It was a hell of a time cooking that jacket. Leather is very resistant to burning.)

Yeah. That’s a commitment on a serious level. If any of you are Bikers and Riders you know how deep that one went.

It brought to mind the process of moving on. Not so much that mysterious process of letting go because I don’t identify with letting go. My Zen Buddhist guides were forever talking about letting go. And, come to think of it, Acceptance. Maybe they meant let go by accepting? Personally, I accept and detach. Because whatever experience I have had is buried in the psyche. I simply can’t let it go in the sense of taking out the garbage. But we do have the choice to refocus attention and move away from thoughts and images that are not helpful. I owe my guides so much for that training. (Not that I am skillful enough to automatically make that choice. The practice of coming back to the moment again and again gives me the opportunity to redirect my attention.)

I strongly believe in using artifacts, like the jacket, to reinforce and cement our commitment to an alternate process. I saw the video and she experienced so much emotion. Not just negative emotion but a type of joy and freedom arose. Her “tribe” was there and gave all the support she needed. None of this guarantees anything. But I do believe it indicates a sea change and a new direction.

Perhaps it’s a process we can use sometimes to help embrace acceptance and change whenever possible. Maybe it helps if we can physically let those things go that are enabling those “I am stuck in life” feelings. Something to think about!

Big smile for everyone!

Bryan Wagner

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