Sunday, February 6, 2011

Zazenkai Notes: Drawing Breath

Snowbound Duck
Snowbound Duck, Helsinki, 2007. Just... because.

It's been a pretty intense couple of weeks, what with that business down in Egypt and such. Work, too. Just shifting from development mode to stabilize-and-release mode on a major product upgrade, which means changing gears from being deeply immersed in design and coding to being involved in every direction. I really needed this weekend's zazenkai.

We're being pampered. Sante Sensei came over again, so we had two days back to back. It really makes all the difference to be able to take dokusan from time to time, and as much as I like them, recorded teishos aren't quite the same thing as a live one. So if you're reading, Sante Sensei, thank you very much for doing this, it makes a real difference and I truly appreciate it.

We had tea and conversation too, on breaks. Some pretty heavy stuff came up, like suicide and psychiatric problems and such, plus also stuff about religion and politics and atheism and what have you. I really like that part, because there's a range of opinions there, but there's a feeling that it's OK to disagree, and while there's lively discussion, there's very little negative energy there. Reminds me of the RPGWatch Politics & Religion forum in its glory days.

Missed Saturaday's sangha potluck, which was too bad, but there you are.

Two days of zazenkai is not the same as one day of zazenkai. I was somehow able to carry on from where I left off. Over the weekend, there was really only one round where I was mostly sitting like a sack of potatoes—nobody home—and while things started out buzzy and scattered, it got more focused as it went, and today's sitting felt more focused than it's ever been, just about. It's also different when the zendo is full; there's a certain energy to it when 30-40 people are there giving it everything they can.

I hear next month we're going to try a little variant—the zendo will be open on Saturday evening, so you can go sit yaza (not until morning, though, apparently), and the zazenkai will start a bit earlier on Sunday. A running start, as it were. I'm going to see if I can haul my lazy ass onto the zafu for that, it sounds like it's worth trying. I like these experiments in more intensive practice that are not quite normal daily sitting but not quite retreat or sesshin either.

In fact, this whole thing we're doing here is a pretty remarkable experiment. I'm constantly amazed at having stumbled on it. Thank you for letting me be a part of it.

1 comment:

  1. sounds like shorter versions of the experiment our sangha just finished. i'm all for this kind of stuff.