I feel like I should apologise for the somewhat tepid quality of the writing recently. I know it takes a certain kind of spaciousness to get the big words and long sentences flowing, or for me to come up with the occasional semblance of a joke, and that has been in short supply recently, apart from the sojourn at Tassajara. I know the proximate causes for this, and how they are intimately linked with deeper causes and conditions, and I am still mostly stuck there.
This week has been an object lesson in how attitude colours perception so much: on Monday morning, even coming after a decent night's sleep, I was feeling crabby from the outset - maybe not helped by a couple of people on the doanryo being sick, even though it wasn't hard to find replacements. I carried on in the same vein throughout the day, helping someone move furniture with such bad grace that I felt embarrassed to be thanked for it. It was only a bumper new year turn-out at Young Urban Zen, with a guest appearance from Sarah Weintraub whom I had invited to talk about her life and practice, that loosened me up some.
On Tuesday, even though I still had the same amount of stuff to take care of, I felt lighter with it, and thus things felt easier most of the day. At the same time, there are a number of conversations I need to have that I anticipate being difficult, and I don't want to go around being 'bad cop' all the time - I feel my heart harden rather than soften, and my spine stiffen. I am remembering the discussion in Branching Streams Flow In The Darkness, where someone, and I imagine it was the ino of the time, asks about practising strictly, and Suzuki Roshi replies, "Sometimes it may be unfortunate to see something. If you see it, you have to say something, so it may help you to practice without looking around... So it's best not to see anything!"
Anyway, if you are feeling in need of some divertissement, you could try matching this interesting collection of search words from yesterday with the post they took people to (without using Google, of course):
we had to shave my brother's head
altar in room
barn owl pedals
sierras from i 395
For a bonus point, this one appeared this morning: 'mount tam naked woman'. I think only one of those two has appeared on this blog....