Thursday, 8 December 2011

Everyday Mind

Peder Balke  -The Tempest 1862
  The rain crashed down, and the wind raked over the zendo last night. Even the seagulls were largely silent, though a few plaintive calls could be heard above the squall. There were some new people, all trying like hell to get knees to floor and heads to ceiling, and not quite succeeding. I was lost in thought, as ever, about what I "should do" with my life. Left leg went numb but not cripplingly so, and had to niftily side-step a zafu in kinhin, though I should have moved it aside and saved the other sentient beings from its obstruction... Apparently my posture has improved of late. I always have trouble knowing whether my head and neck are in relation to my shoulders (they're on top dummy) so I have a tendency to bob about like a curious cockatoo. I was Number Three, that's to say the one who bangs the wood after Jay says "keisho" and who also hammers away at the mokugyo during the Heart Sutra. Having been out in the Zen wilderness for a while, I had lost my touch and made unimpressive plunk plek sounds with both wood and mokugyo, but found a strong sound for the old makka hannya. One of the new folks "will definitely come back", so we'll not see him again. Packing up always has that Formula One team feel about it: in zendo- takedown time trials normally we are lightning fast, but lacking Eric we were slower than normal. We troop out into the narrow alleyway, lock the door to the  building, and wander out past the bodypart-casting studio and the kinky lingerie boutique, into the windy damp darkness.

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