Inquiry: It is too contrived.

 

It is too contrived. (The formal aspect of the CSS meetings and retreats.)

  1. True?
    Well, feels true sometimes. (Reactive feelings when I see it.) My stories can easily tell me how it is true. And I can find others who agree. But that doesn’t make it true.
  2. Sure?
    No. The contrived part is only an opinion. Also, too contrived for what?
  3. What happens when I believe that thought?
    • I go into stories of how it is true. They walk like zombies! They eat like catatonics! They bow like helpless westerners in awkward imitation, exaggerated and dry as cardboard.
    • I compare them with others. The Zen Center had all the formal down, and it felt completely natural, organic and free within the form. There was no sense of anything contrived about it. It was just flow, beauty, effortlessness.
    • I tell myself stories about how a Zen master would give them a good whack for doing things in such an exaggerated and contrived way. I delight in the image of them getting a good whack!
    • I make myself right and them wrong. I know how to do it in a far more effortless and organic way, they (obviously) don’t.
    • I experience a sense of separation. Discomfort, Physical tension. Jitteriness. Wanting to be somewhere else. Not belonging. Restless. Feeling out of place.
    • I see all of this, and how it must happen from a stuck place, from an attachment to story and identity, but I am still stuck and caught up in it. This only adds to the discomfort.
  4. Who would I be without it?
    • Interested. Amused without separation. A sense of intimacy. Being in the same boat. Shared humanity. Relaxed body. Open heart.
  5. Turnarounds.
    • It is not too contrived.
      • Not for them, obviously. Otherwise they wouldn’t have done it.
      • What does too contrived mean? Is it contrived? Is it too contrived? All of that is just an opinion.
      • I am still there, so it is not even too contrived for me! Just for my mind when I hold onto that initial story and make it right.
    • It is just enough contrived.
      • Yes, that feels much more true. It is just enough contrived. It is what comes naturally for this group right now. It is a perfect expression of the dynamics of this group.
      • It is just enough contrived for me to see where I attach to stories and identities. It is exactly enough for me to have the reaction I have, and want to explore the beliefs around it.
      • It is just enough contrived for all of us. It comes from our shared dynamics, and gives all of us a certain feedback… filtered through whatever unique flavor is there for each of us.
    • It is not contrived enough.
      • No, if it was even more contrived, it would help me look into this even further. I would be forced to take an even closer and more detailed look at my hangups around this.
      • And the same would be the case for others in the group. Maybe it would be so contrived that others would start seeing the same, finding their own hangups.
      • And it could even lead to the group as a whole bringing this up, leading to a shift in how things are done.
    • I am too contrived.
      • Yes. In this particular situation, I hold onto a particular viewpoint and identity, making it right. I make an arbitrary perspective right and anything else wrong. If that isn’t contrived, I don’t know what is.
      • And in general, I do the same. I hold onto beliefs and identities, live my life from it, filter the world through it, making it all very artificial, stiff, rigid… contrived.
    • My thinking is too contrived.
      • Yes, when I make it right, it rigidifies and becomes artificial and contrived.

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