Yesterday, I got a note from a woman who is serving the tail end of a two-year jail sentence. She said she would be out in September and did not name the crime.
She wrote asking about the zendo here, saying she had begun her practice in prison and intended to continue it. So, she was snooping the zendo from afar ... and probably bucking up her spirits: No one is ever entirely sure at the beginning of a spiritual adventure that the whole thing isn't complete hooey.
I wrote her back. And as I did, it occurred to me that this had turned into an inescapable reflex ... when someone asks for a hand, there is just no other choice. Always, that's the way it is -- no escape. Even if I had not responded, still there is no way not-to-respond.
What an odd habit.