Monday, October 4, 2010

Slowly, slowly coming home

Grailville Zendo (the Caravansary)
A sad moment yesterday when I realized that last week's retreat at Grailville, which was bathed day after day in hot sunshine, so in memory is a golden square, is gone.  And will never exist again.  It has passed

At the same time I realized that we are in countdown to the surgery.  In two days, the final cross-match.  At noon on Monday the 11th laura and I enter the hospital, probably for a flurry of final tests.  Sitting in church I began my mental list of things to do before then.  Small example - make sure Tom has a list of people to call when the surgeon tells him everything went well, and their phone numbers on his cellphone.  Charge up my Rotadent.  Like that.

How fitting that Tricycle offered me today a new online retreat with Larry Rosenberg, on the subject of living out in the world.  As I listened I made some notes.  He says he came to realize as a younger student -
we were fixated on retreats and the sitting posture - but that was not our lives.  just trying to make money to get to the next retreat.  feeling retreat was real life.
a dialogue between the contemplative life and action - wanted that dichotomy to disappear.  can it all be of one piece?
Home from retreat, you feel the peace fading.  The spaciousness is replaced by the new schedule, the thousand obligations of daily life, like making warm catfood slurry morning and evening for the poor cat, who has a sore throat. Making your own oatmeal in the morning.  Someone has to wash the pan.  Like that.

It's such a busy world.  I find myself aware of the effect of the novel I'm reading on my dreams and my waking mind.  I wake up thinking about the drab existential sadness of the Masterpiece Theater we watched last night, and understand why a lot of Zen students don't watch TV at all.

Sometimes I think that when I'm healthy again (an amazing thought) I might want to go for a residency at a Zen Center somewhere.  A month, three months.  I have a friend who hopes to do that when his daughter goes off to college.  Then I think about the lines of one of our chants, Hakuin Zenji's Song of Zazen -
Nirvana is right here before our eyes - 
This very place is the Lotus Land. 
I'm tempted to be facile about it and say something like, "Oh yeah, I forgot again."  Well, you do forget, that's why periodic retreat, where we meet each other on the very ground of our existence, and experience the free flow of love.  So you can remember yourself and experience love back here, as when a stranger - I mean, a new friend - comes up the walk with zinnias..
A gift of zinnias

No comments:

Post a Comment