Liking Yourself

"Liking Yourself" 9 of 200 from Robert Aitken's book Miniatures of a Zen Master.

Here Aitken Roshi really pours on the encouragement. He admonishes us to find a good teacher, work together and trust yourself. Of these three, 'work together' is the most problematic for me. I live in Northern Idaho and my 'good' teacher is 421 miles away. This makes it a little tough for regular face to face meetings. Email seems the answer but that medium has its own problems. A couple of 7 day sesshins and one or two shorter retreats is all I can manage. Maybe I should listen up, take his advice and 'trust myself' that this is enough.

Let me say a little about this book. It is a hardback published in 2008 with an introduction by Nelson Foster. Get it at your local independent book seller. This is new and fresh material and reads very much like his earlier book Encouraging Words. Each chapter is only a paragraph long. Each of these is what Aitken Roshi calls a 'miniature', hence the title.

Each is physically miniature yet there is an invitation to dive in deeply. Explore each and find the warm wisdom and support offered by someone who walks the path and has lead many to "...uncover the unique one that has been there all along." Aitken Roshi's miniatures are so deceptively simple without being simplistic. This is his strong suit, speaking plainly and pointing to the nature of reality without any flashy academic or mysterious mumble jumbo. 

For me, these miniatures have a way of guiding me in turning the light around and shining it inward.

Thanks Robert.