Note:  This was originally posted to the blog Just This Play, in response to this prompt.

What we are called to, I think, is life as rebel-monks. At least, this has long been a powerful draw for me when it comes to this both/and, neither/nor tradition called Zen: that it straddles, bridges, melts, and blows up dichotomies such as rebel versus monk. We who practice are rebels in swimming against the cultural mainstream, straying from the herd of convention, coloring outside the lines of our conditioning. Yet we also require the discipline, community, and contemplativeness of monks in order to transform rebellion into growth and positive action. We wage an ordinary, daily revolt, wrestling with conceptions and direct experience, bodies and minds, time and space. Are we rebels? Are we monks? Who are we when we sit and face the wall, and just breathe?

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