February 21, 2010

April or February?

It's unheard of for us to see this much sun in the month of February. Daffodils are about to pop. Weeds are beginning to carpet the garden. Frogs are out at night and the blessed croaking floats across the lake with a reassuring song. No matter what a mess we've made of things in this weary world, nature continues, spring comes...and, our practice continues.

What a remarkable day we had on Saturday at our retreat. The weather was healing, but the ease and cohesion of practice was heartwarming. Everyone in tune, easy in practice, glad to be there, and grateful for the gift of Zazen. It's encouraging to see a fine mixture of young and old, newcomers and seasoned practitioners together in retreat. How easily we moved from one point of practice to another. And today, the day after, the land is settled and swept, the atmosphere quiet, present.

Josepha Vermote, our visitor from Belgium and Holland will be leaving soon to relocate to Costa Rica. She has found a lovely home to lease in the mountains above San Jose, and who could not understand her choice to find a warm, sunny, paradisal climate in a happy culture. Along wi
th the house, she's been offered workspace in an outbuilding for reconnecting with her love of ceramics, and she looks forward to practice with clay in her daily life there. She'll be about an hour from the Zen center affiliated with Rochester Zen Center in New York and will keep connection to practice with that Sangha. Josepha has been most generous in the time she has given to transcribing my Dharma talks so that we could post them on the website. I'm very grateful to her for that effort as she is the first to undertake this generous volunteer work in all these years. I have numerous talks to edit and will catch up with the editing in the coming weeks while I'm in Berkeley.

Yes, the coming weeks. I'll be in Berkeley with Rob and Linda as Rob sees his first week in hospice. We should have some time for good conversation and deep laughter which inevitably happens when we are all together. Many people will be visiting, so I'll be there in support of the daily activities and events, giving some respite to Linda too. I'll arrive on Rob's 60th birthday, on the 25th, and we'll have a party, I presume. I'll post some photos of the scenery from their deck to give you a picture of the incredible view they have of the whole Bay Area. I'm excited to see a few sunsets, as I almost never see them in Olympia. Trees, trees, trees.

For the moment, this brief blog as I'd like to take time to edit a talk that Josepha finished yesterday which was prompted by my visit with Rob and Linda and the talk is on Non-Attachment and Acceptance, two practices we undertake in Zen life. I'll post in on the website and perhaps put some of it here. We'll see.

Bows to you all with gratitude for the good thought and prayer you are sending Rob's way; with gratitude for the purity and strength of practice demonstrated at this time.