Saturday, November 19, 2011

Notes From A One-Day Sitting

As breakfast dragged on, I began to wonder if I was going to get to leave the zendo before I had to come back. It was a close-run thing in the end: although the zendo was not quite as full as on the last couple of one-days, there wasn't enough cereal in the pots, so the servers had to keep making round trips to fill in the gaps, and I was watching the time just slip away and noticing how stressed I got. At lunch, by way of a contrast, since there is always something of a break no matter how long the meal goes, I was completely relaxed.
Other things that I noticed today: the Self-Receiving and -Employing Samadhi certainly sounds better with a few periods of zazen inside you. I haven't felt fully connected with it during our noon services this practice period, but today felt different.
While my wrist still got a little sore holding the mudra over time, my legs were doing just fine on the whole - perhaps they were glad not to be the centre of attention. During the afternoon, my brain became less of a solid obstacle, and the information in my spine was more readily accessible.
It was wonderful to have a full zendo chanting the Dai Hi Shin Dharani before dinner, and the Refuges at the end of the evening. Also wonderful to put a call out for people to help with evening dishes, and to go into the kitchen to see half a dozen people working away to get things done. Together, the sitting happens. Then we go our separate ways in the rainy evening.


Kelly said...

I always feel a twinge when I read about your stresses and preoccupations of planning the sits and schedules, because one of the things I most treasure as a participant is paying no attention to time or schedules for a whole day and resting in the complete trust that everything that needs to happen will happen (which is easy to do at zen center when I have no responsibility for anything). So thanks for creating that environment for the rest of us!

The refuges were a beautiful experience. Partly because I know all the words, and I know what they mean, and I deeply know them to be true for me. Partly because of the tone Paul set for the last sitting. Partly because it was my first time saying them at zen center, with the glow from the low-burning candle illuminating so many familiar faces.

Shundo said...

I'm glad you had a good day Kelly. I did plenty of sittings where I didn't have to worry about anything, and now my dharma position is to take care of the whole thing. I got to have some nice sitting too, once we got into the afternoon, and there wasn't so much for me to worry about.