My Review of Dharma Road
I've always thought driving a taxi would be a great gig, at least for a while that is. So when I came across a book exploring Zen written by a cab driver I could not but pick it up for a read.
Integrating any discipline into your life is hard enough but I couldn't imagine following a Zen path while putting in the insane long and chaotic hours the author of Dharma Road puts in. Just imagine practicing mindfulness while your brain is being assaulted with the sights and sounds of hurried passengers, manic drivers and a maze of flashing lights telling you to go and then to stop. I'd be screaming this side of insanity within an hour. Mindfulness I'd yell, I'll show you mindfulness as I smashed my hand into the taxi's horn while at the same time yelling out the window at the idiot stalled in front of my cab.
Lucky for us the author of Dharma Road was able to come closer to a Zen practice while driving then I would have.
More Dharma Road
Reading Dharma Road I am reminded of sitting in an AA meeting filled with cigarette smoke and the smell of burnt coffee while some poor shmoo stands in front of the group and reels off her story about life, addiction, recovery and maybe a slice of hope on the side. Haycock’s writing in Dharma Road approaches the subject of practicing Zen while living a workaday life from a gritty and no apologies slant contrasting greatly with most books written about Zen practice. Here again I’m sure Katagiri Roshi would really like Dharma Road for its transparency of struggle. Those of us who have some degree of commitment to Zen will find ourselves in the same quandary and pickles that Haycock so clearly relates within the pages of Dharma Road.
Haycock fills the book with examples of his everyday life such as: “I follow sports, the local teams. I read crime novels in the airport line, I tape TV shows to watch them when I get off work, go to a movie once in a while.” And he continues. ” These things are only distractions. There’s nothing wrong with them, but they won’t help me move down that Eightfold Freeway.” In Dharma Road Haycock uses these seemingly mundane everyday thoughts and actions to weave a story about mindfulness and the uphill journey to catch a glimpse of the here and now, to see reality as it really is and not how we manufacture it, only seeing it with our petty colored sunglasses and letting everyone know our view is the right view.
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The best line ever:
Dharma Road Cafe
leave a thought about the Zen journey
Unfolding of Zen in my life can be glimpsed at Zen Automat - A blockheads attempt to understand Zen but who most certainly doesn't understand Zen. Where's the door out of this place anyways?