Today was my first zazenkai since the retreat at the end of October. I missed the November one because of our trip to Hong Kong and Australia, and there wasn't one in December because of some heathen celebration or other.
My practice has not been going great lately. It's felt like there was a thick, red-brown, glassy crust of something on it. It's like I've been clobbered by each of the poisons one after the other. Not much fun. I'm sure the trip has something to do with it; I didn't sit every day (not even close) while on the road, and obviously I didn't get to the zendo either.
Perhaps today's sitting got it un-stuck a bit. There was a really nice dharma talk which was largely about everything that tends to go wrong when practicing; I felt like yelling "Bingo!" at some point because it was like I was doing all of them. After that, it started rolling a bit more smoothly again; some flakes of that crust fell off and the metal showed through.
Daisan helped too.
Pain is no longer a problem, for a zazenkai at least. Clear progress there. This time last year, it hurt like a bastard.
So here we go, onward to 2011. I have a feeling it will be a year of changes, for good or ill I don't know. Some of those changes will be reflected here, I'm sure. More verse, perhaps. That stuff is fun to write.
It'll be the year of the hare starting February 3. For the Vietnamese, it's the year of the cat.
I'll take the cat.
She's hiding under the bathtub. Go figure.