For the past three years, I have been occasionally referring, in this blog, to my writing of ‘the book.’ The book where I write about the things I talk about all the time. The book about Zen and life-coaching. I wrote the outline, got an advance from a publisher, and have written endless pages. But I have struggled to write about what I know in a way that is truly alive.
For me, the challenge has been how to present the living truth that does not abide in some fixed form – that is not about rules or dogma and things outside of ourselves. And the even greater issue of how to avoid writing from the illusory position of having figured it all out. I have often despaired of finding a form and a voice that felt true.
While I have written much, I have been dogged by a feeling of failure. Even the twelfth revision of Chapter One felt stiff and clunky – like someone who is working hard to write something good for the teacher. But about two months ago, I came to the realization that while I have been ‘stuck’ not writing my book, I have also been writing my book – I just didn’t know it. In these pages and in my journals, I have found a voice and a way of writing that feels honest and true.
I’m not sure of the ultimate ‘quality’ of the writing or exactly how it coheres into a book. But I have accepted the fact that the book I need to write, the book I have written, is a book that is my love song to the world. Not an explanation or a ‘how-to’ manual, but rather a stepping into and a presentation my own life as the way itself. As Issa said so beautifully ‘The man pulling radishes / pointed my way /with a radish.’
So now I have the first draft of my book complete. The working title is now ‘Zen Reflections of a Life Coach: Each Step is the Destination.’ Right now it is a series of short pieces loosely tied into the cycle of one year of my life. It contains a number of the pieces that first appeared in this blog. As part of this process, I have cleared the memory here in this blog – taken these pieces down from the web to be revised, cooked, polished, winnowed or even left as is for parts of the book.
I will continue my sporadic postings and greatly appreciate the kind occasional words that come back to me in my travels. All you who have remarked on being touched by something here. Your small encouragements have been, and continue to be, essential as I walk the ever unknown path of my life.