yesterday's zen center trip was instructive insofar as I learned which foot to enter the zendo with and when and how to bow and the various ways you can sit--apparently the practice has become more open to those whose legs aren't as bendy as others'--but there wasn't much in the way of explanation of the significance of, say, holding your hands a certain way, or bowing, or even meditation itself.
but so I walked over to city lights last night and bought a book of Dogen's teachings and it seems there are things in it that interest me greatly that I wonder if they ever get talked about in greater depth than the fairly straightforward lectures have so far offered. because I'm not really looking for a practical way to say, deal with "negative emotions," but more of a conversation regarding whether an awareness of the unthinkable nonthinking that is the quivering event of animal exposure in the world is anywhere in the same vein as those things I think about in my work.
I am having a difficult time though with the simple directive to efface desire, as I have worked hard to resurrect desire after it died some years ago, but I am thinking that it may be possible to think of desire outside of the appropriating ego and although my professors have been telling me that it wouldn't be desire then exactly I think it still could be. just not a desire to consume but more of a desire to set free. desire divorced from profit and acquisitiveness. desire that does not proceed from a need to correct a lack within the self but which dissipates the self outwards.
anyway. I will go back. I will say though that already I suspect there are some who take this whole thing and themselves within it way too seriously. the one cool thing here is that zen buddhist ritual so far doesn't remind me in the slightest of anything I was brought up with so there is some chance I can take what I can use and leave the rest without excessive angst.
the question now--and in this country this sort of question could only be asked in california--is whether I want to check out how other buddhist centers here practice. because there are a few and I don't really know the differences between various schools.
probably I am supposed to be patient and learn about them slowly. of course I want to buy a bunch of books and start them all and not quite finish any of them. because I have all this spare time, you see.