I remember Blanche Hartman from S.F. Zen Center talking about one day when she was on her way to a day of mindfulness and she buttoned her shirt backwards or something. I do revere some of the teachers I met from Japan, whom I thought had a certain grace and poise, and sometimes I think I should be concerned to practice hard and be more like them; in the end, though, I think Blanche has the right approach, to laugh at herself and be what she is.
I would say that I have a compass, and that compass comes out when I feel like I’m starting to walk in circles, and I use that compass to sight the next landmark in the direction I want to go before I put it away. The compass is the cessation of volition, in speech, in inhalation and exhalation, and in perception and sensation, and the landmark is the combination of disparate elements at the instant of cessation. The landmark is always right where I am, every contact of sense including the sixth sense enters into where I am even before I know it, and the ability to feel that arises with each contact informs where I am. When I am waking up and falling asleep, I can witness the action that arises out of where I am as I am where I am. That action is wu wei.
The practice I have is really so many disparate elements, and it comes to me out of necessity, although sometimes I’m the very one that is driving me to that experience of necessity. My conclusion is that I can’t help being attracted to the feeling that belongs to my own well-being, and likewise I can’t help being averse to the feeling that belongs to my own illness. Some would say they have a choice, but my conclusion is that I do not.