“For me,” Melissa Myozen Blacker of the Boundless Way Temple in Massachusetts says, “Zen is really a path to joy. My whole life is about meeting suffering. Like my father died when I was fifteen, and I had a lot of terrible things happen to me off and on throughout the years. Not that terrible, but—still—difficult stuff. So I could have gone down that route. I was depressed. I was anxious. But this little core, this kernel of delight has always been the guiding light I keep orienting towards. Like, I know there’s something beyond all this.
“We’ve been talking about this recently. You know, since the first noble truth is the truth of suffering, there’s sometimes the feeling that it’s sequential; you have to suffer; then you have to see the truth of suffering, and then blah, blah, blah. But another way of looking at it is that suffering exists, and suffering itself—the truth of it—is ennobling. It is a noble truth of suffering. And suffering never goes away. But there is a way to live with it in a more spacious manner. And so we don’t turn away from suffering. I think suffering and joy are like two sides of the same coin. But you can get stuck. You can also get stuck in joy, which could be a problem.”
[Melissa Myozen Blacker – Cypress Trees in the Garden: 200, 201, 207-215, 216, 217, 218, 220, 221, 222, 228, 229, 418]
[See also: Boundless Way Temple]