In one of my many casual conversations with Rev Young, my first Zen Teacher, we were discussing if our philosophy of life could be boiled down to one statement. I believe Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure had just came out and we were talking about the profoundness of "Party on Dude!" as a philosophy of life. Conversations with Rev Young tended to wander all over the landscape. He said Master Seung Sahn's philosophy was, "Just like this!" and that held hidden depths.
Anyway, I asked what he would say was his philosophy of life, and he said without hesitation, "We're already perfect." Then of course he asked me what mine was.
Being Zen, you don't stop and try to pick the answer you think is most profound or pleasing to your Teacher. He will see it happening and call you on it. My mind went blank and I stared at him for a minute. Then I blurted out, "Why not?"
He liked that. I had no clue why I said it but I was pleased that he was pleased. That's the nature of the Zen Student/Teacher relationship. It meant I contemplated that answer over the years, trying to see what he saw in it. I have come to realize that is indeed the core of my life philosophy. It's what I ask myself constantly. When I am told something is impossible or can't happen or can't be done, my automatic reaction is to ask, "Why not?" When I get an idea to do something but hesitate and wonder if I should really do it, I ask "Why not?" Sometimes I have a good answer to the question. Someone says world peace is impossible. "Why not world peace?" Because powerful people don't want peace. They want what you've got. There's a good answer in this case. "Why not give a dollar to that beggar?" Because I just gave twenty bucks to my stepdaughter and my fountain of charity is dry right now. I'm making the beggar pay for my stepdaughter's inability to budget. So maybe I give the guy his dollar.
Can you say that you have a life's philosophy? What pops into your head?