"It's someone about Black Moon Zendo," my wife said, handing me the phone last night.
And there, on the other end of the line was a pleasant male voice asking to verify contact information. The info was to be, as it had been in the past, included in some kind of local meditation newsletter ... vipassana, I think he said. I wasn't against it, but I said that if the newsletter needed a bit of extra space, he should feel free to drop the reference to the small place in the backyard here.
Funny how what is new a novel to others no longer puts pepper in this pot. A lot of effort went into building the zendo, and I certainly do enjoy sitting there from time to time, but the flags I once flew for the place -- the ads, the web site, etc. -- seem a bit excessive now.
Voices of a certain experience level might say it was "compassionate" to make the building available to others, but that just makes me hope people might examine what they are wont to call compassionate. Feel-good fluff is more likely than compassion ... and even that probably doesn't warrant advertising. Everybody fucks up at their own speed. Everyone finds their way out of their fuck-ups at their own speed. If someone asks, answer ... that strikes me as enough ... and it's less weighted-down by advertising.
In this country, there is a saying, "Never speak ill of the dead." And many, if not most, hear that encouragement as meaning they should somehow speak well of the dead. Lord knows they do it enough: Anyone seeking the comforts of praise should drop dead -- it's almost a sure-fire winner. But I think it would be better never to speak well of the dead either. Good deeds and bad deeds cling and cloy with about the same adhesive confusion. As bad deeds are remembered with a gnawing regret so good deeds are recollected with sympathy and joy. As they say in Zen, the hard stuff is easy -- it's the easy stuff that's hard.
Ask and answer, answer and ask ... isn't that enough?