Lately I've been thinking a lot about a passage in "Everyday Zen: Love & Work" where the author says that situations where we find ourselves confused about what to do arise because there is something we do not know about ourselves.
Today I was talking to a friend about an "everyday" problem I have: how serious I want to be in a current relationship. I felt tired and confused. I remember what Joko Beck said, and I thought that I'd like to meditate. Right then and there. Then, hopefully, I would "just know" what to do, naturally.
But of course you can't just plop down on the floor for 30 minutes every time you feel confused about something.
There is a scene in the film "Fight Club" where the apparently crazy character Tyler Durden pours lye on the hand of apparently sane main character's hand. As the chemical burn sets in, the main character closes his eyes and tries to go into a protective trance (complete with chanting). However Durden slaps him across the face and says, "NO! Don't tune out like those losers do! This is the best time of your life, and you're off... somewhere else!!"
If I haven't mentioned it before, "Fight Club" is my second most favorite Buddhist film (after "Groundhog Day"), and this scene is especially zen-inspired.
In this scene lies a tip for my earlier problem. No, I don't need to plop down on the floor and meditate when I'm unsure of what to do. Meditation practice is important. But I also want to carry elements of what I do on the cushion with me throughout the day. I want to be more aware, more accepting, and live more in the present. I want to know myself better, and to practice without practicing.