Yes, the promise of rain today and the trees can't get a drink soon enough. Let it rain!
We're back at daily life following our intensive retreat and weeklong holiday during which there were no alarm clocks. During the break, I did occasionally wake early to the sound of a bell from the outside. When you practice Zen for a long time, you become quite attuned to bells. I'd wake and realize the bell was from a passing bicycle on the Chehalis Western Trail.
So, I'm packing my suitcases to go to California on Thursday. I'll be at Kannon-do in Mt. View until September 15th. I do plan to write this blog from there reporting on life in California smack in the middle of Silicon Valley. It will be interesting to see how visible the economic changes are in that area. Sometimes I feel that we're already back at our usual environmental obliviousness, using our resources carelessly and that we haven't learned much from the downturn. It seems as if we're all waiting to get back to life as usual, counting time until we can hurry back to shopping centers for our main social outreach. But, perhaps I'm too critical. Perhaps there's been a true cultural change that brings us to a healthier environment and to healthier daily activities. Perhaps we are more balanced and we can allow constructive change. As all things change anyway, to be able to listen well to what change shows us and teaches us, is key to non-attachment. Ryokan san says, "Wise people learn the mystery of existence in a flash and climb in a leap beyond the world of hollow phenomena."