Recently some brothers and sisters mentioned that they seem to be caught in the samo samo doldrums of daily life.
Even though they are healthier than before and happier than before, they still detected that they are somewhat trapped by some pattern or repetition in life. These are excellent realizations. If you believe that you maybe in the same situation, may I offer you two pointers.
It is true, Chan practice improves our health, our relationship, our wisdom, etc. etc. Yet as human beings, when we reach a certain comfort level, we usually become addicted to it and using it as our yardstick in each new moment.
When our life are generally great, we often tend to compare new opportunities, new events, new moment with our comfort level. We begin to have a certain "preference" and begin to "select" our path at each moment of new encounter. Slowly, this "self-serving notion" within us begin to surface and taken over our actions along our path.
Slowly we sink back into our addictions to "vision, sound, smell, taste and touch". Therefore, if you are awakened to the fact that your "preferences" at each moment is getting stronger, it is a sign that your ego maybe managing you and not your heart. Shifu calls this "attachment to the notion of self".
Another notion to be aware of is "I know that!". In many of our classes, the phrases we use are keys from Shifu. A lot of times, when we hear but don't listen, this notion of "I know that!" surfaces. Then usually Shifu's advice are quickly brushed away or categorized under the carpet. If you believe that "you know" majority of our sharing in our classes, then your conscious mind is in play and not your heart. In others you may have attached to the "notion of dharma".
The key to resolve these issues is to realize and accept the truth that all these notions and forms are just emptiness in nature. There is no value whatsoever in these "comfort zones" or "knowledge of knowing". Only then, when we could wholehearted realize and accept it, the truth of the universe and the true purpose of our life will shine through you. Only then, by following our heart will we live a truly meaningful and wonderful life.
According to the teaching of our Shifu, it could be time for you to practice "formless giving".