Friday, May 28, 2010

Day 49: Sailing Home by Norman Fischer

I am revisiting a book I bought several years ago.  Using the metaphor of the Odyssey the former Zen Center abbot, Norman Fischer gently gives advice to all of us.  His words speak clearly.

"Repetition is the soul of spiritual practice. .  .  .  Whether we are in Hawaii on vacation, sick in the hospital, or absorbed in our workweek, there is always going to sleep, waking up, eating, going to the toilet, walking, standing, sitting, reclining, seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling, feeling, thinking.  Every day goes this way.  The sun rises, the sun sets.  Life comes, goes, and comes back again. You could see this as boring.  Or you could realize that life's archetypal repetition is a form of the journey of return, the deep joy of moment-by-moment renewal, with each breath and heartbeat.  The daily routine of spiritual practices brings this reality home to us.  Gertrude Stein, the great genius of repetition, once said, "The question of repetition is very important.  It is important because there is no such thing as repetition."  Each moment in the ever-repeated pattern is, by virtue of the repetition, always new; whatever comes back around again in the great cycle of things is always fresh."  p. 81

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