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August 19, 2017

A Continuous Mistake

"A zen masters life is one continuous mistake." - Dogen

Some of us may feel the same way and we’re not even zen masters…of course I’m not talking about continuously blundering about like a fool, but just looking back at things… at different points in our lives and thinking, “I wish I had done that differently.”…or you know the old saying; “if I knew now what I knew then”…one mistake can lead to circumstances that are like a deep hole that keeps growing deeper…or making a river that has become too difficult or impossible to cross and get back on the other side…other times it may just be a path that was untaken and won’t present itself to us again…all because of one or two decisions that were unfortunate…or it could just be that we look back at several or many things and wonder how we could have misjudged things…badly in some cases…woulda, coulda, shoulda, become regrets for lost opportunities…I coulda done this if I would have only done that instead…I shoulda done that instead of that…I woulda done this if I only knew…etc…especially if we compare ourselves to the lives of others…of course one shouldn’t hold a wake for past mistakes…what’s done is done…history can’t be erased…we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves…it’s probably not healthy for us to think about those things, yet one does think about those things from time to time…when we look at our mistakes, we should do our best to learn from them so we don’t make the same kind of mistake again…but we probably will…we can’t help it, we’re only human…and humans make mistakes…we can’t hope to not make mistakes in the future, for none of us are perfect…and if we think we are, we are perfectly wrong…and on the flip side, not all mistakes turn out badly…or we can turn them into ‘happy accidents’ as the painter Bob Ross used to say…so mistakes aren’t an ‘if’ situation, their a ‘when’, but we have what we have in front of us now and the wise thing to do is to make the best of it and do our best to choose wisely in the future.