“We do not practice zazen to attain enlightenment, but rather to express our true nature.”
Shunryu Suzuki RoshiShtick"1. A characteristic attribute, talent, or trait that is helpful in securing recognition or attention". In Yiddish, this funny little word means "a piece". When someone gives you their "shtick", you get just that, only a piece of who they really are. I want the real deal, the whole person, front, back and everything in between, not a crafty, charismatic, maybe funny, maybe predictable, caricature of who they believe they are or who they want me to see.
Most all of us can relate to having had a shtick at some point along our journey. You know, a mannerism or tendency we've used, that got us the acknowledgment, praise or comfort we were after. It can be a way of being in the world that through it's repetition, dulls our evolving edge and diminishes our authentic spark. A shtick can be a survival mechanism, one that allows us to form some pretense of control in a totally out of control, unknown Universe. My point, and I do have one, are that shticks are a cop out. They deny us (internally and externally) of the full potentiality of what it is to be multidimensional beings in an ever changing evolutionary process (not unlike the expanding Universe, in which we live).
Do you ever find yourself saying the same old comments, speaking or thinking the same old beliefs or ideas about how you've decided life is, reality IS? I am inviting you to think again; think something new...or maybe think about something old in a new way. Or better yet, stop thinking and just be available to sense the present moment.
According to Lee Lozowick, (as brought to me by soul brother, Darren Rhodes) " ...when, we get out of our own way, out of the way of the dominating life-script that runs our psychology, our personalities...out of the way of the ego that has convinced us that it is who we are, that this vast, broad and deep territory, this immense storehouse of wealth, will prove to be completely available, accessible. And what then? Each of us...will need to choose to bring this gusher to life."
Now that, is living in the shtickless! It is the greatest improvisation of all. Dwelling in the radiant present moment...raw, unrehearsed and humbly aware is an art. It is a practice, and, it is our natural state, by divine birthright. Sourcing life from this fertile, infinite place, we realize we are no-thing and everything. In this space, we have full access. All we need to say, know, see, do and not do immediately drops into awareness.
Here's a couple of Shtickless goodies I have for you to grock and ponder.
- The first, a recent Blog post by one of my fave Zen writers, Karen Maezen Miller, Who Turns?. I love how she masterfully simplifies perceptual and perspective reality shifts.
- Another shtickless wonder,The Universe, ancient, ever fresh, spontaneous and unrehearsed. I *LOVE* the Universe. Here's an amazing wee video on the Deep Field as seen through the eyes of the Hubble Telescope. Watch it and Marvel.
- And how about Mother Nature- Quite miraculous. Schtickless factor HIGH. No need to hook you up with You Tube here. Just go outside. Take an hour or even 5 minutes and let the natural world show you what it is to be real...unrehearsed, fresh in your response to the present moment.
The art of living in the shtickless means being as we were intended to. We are coded and wired for being vibrantly alive and present. We are lived by the flow of raw life force. It naturally floods a current of grace into all that will hold it. How juicy is that? Straight from the heart of the Universe, a mystery, a miracle, each and every ONE. As you are, as it is, no shtick necessary.
“The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive.”
Thich Nhat Hanh