Robert Aitken Roshi is a Zen master based in Hawaii, whose wisdom arises out of an illuminated state of awareness from his Zen meditation practice. Today’s inspiration starts with a quote from Aitken Roshi on the true reason people embark on the spiritual journey.
If you are on the spiritual journey, you may recognize the truth of this quote, and of Brother Wayne Teasdale’s perceptive comments. Read them here:
“You can’t say to a person, ‘Your cynicism is destructive.’ You have to show them the way of delight, the way of joy, the way of poetry–and let the chips fall where they may.”
–Robert Aitken Roshi
We can preach about enlightenment all we want, but people only take on the spiritual journey when they glimpse the joy it can hold. From the depth of his inner experience, Aitken Roshi knows the cause for joy in being, the source of poetry, and the “way of true delight” in what it is. This is what Zen reveals to the committed practitioner. Cynicism, as a life posture, is not an argument, but an excuse not to trust and hope, an unwillingness to be surprised by inspiration and joy. When we know someone trapped in cynicism, we can’t persuade them out of it through logic; we must expose them to the delight, joy, and genuine poetry that we experience when we’re in touch with the real.