"Life is filled with craving. Craving causes to stress. To eliminate stress, just eliminate craving. To eliminate craving..."
...do the stuff we do. Sit on a cushion. Wear black. If you like Confucius, get up-tight about oryoki, if you like Lao Tse, get non-dualistic about ritual - whatever does it for you. But eliminate craving.
It works for me as an individual - but not as a parent! To aid his life-long happiness I had to go through ten days of misery with my son recently - worth doing, but I needed a strong motivation to launch into such a painful process.
Craving is a great motivator! So, because I craved his long-term welfare, we went through the process, it was horrid, but life's better now and I suspect lots of lumps of suffering have been erased from his future. I only did it because craving made me. Clearly craving eliminates suffering!
Seems a bit of a paradox here. For the Zen practitioner, eliminating craving really does make life better: but as a parent, can one do without it?
Is this the big difference between Zen and Theravada?
Theravada: "Eliminate craving."
Zen: "Seek Right Action. And sometimes craving is Right Action."
What do you guys think? Extra cred points awarded to the opinions of anyone who confesses to being a parent!