“A Zen master’s life is one continuous mistake.” Dogen Zenji (sort of)
“If life is one continuous mistake, and if we all make mistakes, then what the hell is a mistake??” - Emily Eslami
Emily takes our mistakes head on with an in depth look at the concept of mistake itself, starting with Dogen's famous quote. It's pithy, it's perfectly Zen ironic, and it opens up a whole can of worms of conundrums. What exactly is the Zen master's mistake, and come to think of it, what is a mistake at all? The Zen vows tell us not to discuss past mistakes, and yet here we are engaged in what most consider a serious practice of self improvement. How do improve on what's already perfect, and how do we forgive ourselves if we can't admit our mistakes?? (Spoiler alert, turns out forgiveness doesn't make a whole lot of sense). Is it a mistake to see our lives in terms of mistakes, and wait a minute, that doesn't make any sense! Emily explores all of this in personal terms and with deep dives into Zen lore as she traces Dogen's quote to its roots. The sangha takes to the topic immediately and applies Emily's talk in real time while they see if they can wrestle with their own mistakes without making any more while they do.