I sat “virtually” with the sangha last night. It’s becoming a regular Wednesday night thing with the Oak tree in the Garden.
A “sangha” is a gathering of Zen practitioners.
I am finding myself slipping in to some very dark places, and not the actual ones that I should, like the one under the stairs that could use some cleaning and reorganizing. Instead I am slipping into a place where I get lost in thoughts that propagate really paralyzing inertia and despair.
It is good to commit to practicing with others. I doesn’t matter the context. The important thing is to just sit practicing Zazen. Which is the context of ‘NO CONTEXT’, (forget about getting your intellect around that!)
I’ve done a lot of sitting lately, lounging actually.
But sitting Zazen we gradually gain (or regain, again and again) the ability to see thoughts arise and dissipate. We learn how to return to this breath and this moment.
And you can also clean out the space under the stairs this way, although, dust bunnies, spiders…that homemade mask is going to come in handy.
Here is one last poem for the month, rewritten.
the jeweled dew glistens
in the morning light.
This is a link to some famous guys talking about their time. You can Google Warren Buffet and Bill Gates and find out who they are if you don’t know. Which is cool right?
Anyway, a basic lack of awareness is the biggest time waster of all and no amount of structure, lists or schedules can provide it. I remember when a mom I knew who had been a palliative care nurse in a hospital told me she had had nervous breakdown. She said the cut backs in support staff were so severe that her job had become moving patients around like cords of wood just to get the basics done like changing sheets and cleaning bed pans and she realized that she had started to see them as impediments to the function of the floor rather than the reason why she was there. “I wasn’t interacting with them as human beings. I had lost it”. What had she lost? She lost the awareness of what she was actually doing there, perhaps because it was no longer possible. I don’t know, I don’t doubt it was devastating for her. She loved her job, she said she felt had been good at it.
This is a drastic example but not unusual.
Still, we have more time than we know, we have right now. We have the breath in our bodies. We have the light entering our eyes from whatever screen we are looking at this from, the air moving around us, perhaps playing with dancing tiny flecks of dust, the sounds around us, intentional or insidious, humming aspects of twenty-first century life. Or maybe nature: Robins bursting with exuberant declarations of spring love, or trees swaying in the wind or rain falling on hard ground…
Ah but there is that other blog we wanted to check and the coffee we want warmed and damn aren’t we late for something!!! But if we bump into another human being as we rush to where we are going we can take a moment to notice them (if we are Canadian we can apologize) before we rush off. We can be AWARE and it can make a difference.
Have a Nice Day!
This moment is brought to you entirely free. 🙂