The Drunk

"The Drunk" number 104 of 200 from Robert Aitken's book Miniatures of a Zen Master.

This miniature is both about the perils of drunkenness and learning to be decent.

Once you accept that your life is none of your business, then you can
go about the business of living unfettered by the usual worries. If this holds true, then it is true for everyone.

When confronted by a drunk, they are drunk and you are confronted. There is no need for them the "busnify" their situation. There is no need for them the "busnify" your situation. It just is. Also no need for us to muck around in the business of our collective situation. Being unfettered in this way, it becomes easy and automatic to act decent. There no prescription for exactly how to act, life and the moment will dictate. Our job is to just get out of the way and above all don't "busnify" life.

Once you accept the life needs no "busnification", the thing called you can relax and just enjoy life.

What is meant by "life is none of your business"? When we make something into a business endeavor, we set up goals, we measure outcomes, we strive to succeed, we fear losing, we keep balance sheets, we find ways to have protection, and a slew of other activities that fix us, fixate our energy away from the continuous invention the is life. The "busnification" of our life clogs the natural flow of existence that we seek.

What is meant by "act decent"? Decent here is the antidote of unconscious. A synonym would be "right action". Not in opposition to "wrong" action, instead aligned with the unfettered mind, freely steeped in "life is none of your business". There is not way of knowing what a decent act will actually look like in advance. It could be kind, soft and quiet or stern, loud and sudden.

Each moment invents endlessly. Just get out of the way!

Any error or confusion created by my commentary on
Miniatures of a Zen Master
is solely a reflection of my own delusion and ignorance.
Any merit generated by this activity is solely the result of
Aitken Roshi's clear teaching and is dedicated to
all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas throughout space and time.